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Old 03-24-2011, 07:41 AM   #7891
jilter
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This is as long thread, so I hope I can be helped with questions that are repetitive.

I just got a Series 3. Does this require a service call for cable card installation (Comcast)?
Is there anyway to pick up the cards and do it yourself?
Can I remove the cable cards from existing TivoHd and install them in the Series 3?
Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:20 AM   #7892
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Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
As an update:

I ordered the service today.

$90 Preferred Plus Triple Play (first 12 months, then $20 more)
$1.5 for CC #1 (TiVO HD XL)
$9.5 for CC #2 (TiVO HD)
$9.5 for CC #3 (TiVO HD)
$7 for cable model/telephone interface
?? Taxes

About $120 + taxes, which for the first year will be less than my current Frontier bill... and then about the same after a year. However, I expected Frontier to go up once my price protection ends this summer so Comcast is still probably less money for the first 2 years. Comcast also offered a $250 gift card.

I never would have switched if Verizon was still running the FiOS service in Portland. I am not going to like Comcast's 250 GB BW Cap... but now that all of my backup data (742 GB) is already uploaded to the cloud, I should be OK unless I switch backup providers.

/Jim
Well keep in mind that FIOS prices haven't gone up yet. Despite all the doom and gloom talk nothing has changed at this point. And you can get FIOS without a contract. So i'd stick with what you have and see how it plays out. Without having to get a contract means you have nothing to lose and should things go bad you can change then.
Besides, their package prices are significantly cheaper than comcast.

I have FIOS internet as well, in Gresham, and it's working fine. That said, i've never had internet and TV from the same provider. Had to dump comcast internet when they added that 250gb bandwidth cap and now use FIOS for internet. But have had Dish for TV for years.

Though since it seems you already switched, what are the package prices of comcast? Their site kinda sucks for that info. I'm weighing my options of buying a cheap refurb premiere and hacking in a large hard drive and then going fios or comcast. Their site doesn't list HD fees which is all I care about. Just one premiere on one TV. Just want the usual TNT, USA, Syfy, Travel, discovery, history, HGTV, food network, etc. in HD. I get that and DVR from dish for $41 right now.
Still not going to use them for internet though.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:25 AM   #7893
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Talked to Comcast.
They are requiring a service call for 16.00 to install the cards.
Also, with the Series 3, as I understand it, I have to have TWO cards, be they M-cards or S-cards. Is this correct?

Comcast/Chicagoland is up to 7.95 PER CARD!
I did not realize that the cards had gone that high especially since their reps are quoting 1.50 still.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #7894
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Originally Posted by jilter View Post
Talked to Comcast.
They are requiring a service call for 16.00 to install the cards.
Also, with the Series 3, as I understand it, I have to have TWO cards, be they M-cards or S-cards. Is this correct?

Comcast/Chicagoland is up to 7.95 PER CARD!
I did not realize that the cards had gone that high especially since their reps are quoting 1.50 still.
Yes, you need two cards of any type in the original S3 (w/OLED display).

Are you sure they aren't quoting you an "additional digital outlet" fee which includes the cost of one cablecard? Additional cablecards beyond the first free one on the outlet usually cost about $1.50-2.50. So their $1.50 cablecard quote may technically not be in error.

If you haven't already, be sure to read this FAQ. http://customer.comcast.com/Pages/FA...&fss=cablecard
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:20 PM   #7895
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jilter View Post
This is as long thread, so I hope I can be helped with questions that are repetitive.

I just got a Series 3. Does this require a service call for cable card installation (Comcast)?
Is there anyway to pick up the cards and do it yourself?
Can I remove the cable cards from existing TivoHd and install them in the Series 3?
Thanks!
If your local headend requires cablecards to be paired (and mine does) then the answer is no. If the cablecard is not paired, some channels will appear to be working and others may not. IIRC, encrypted channels may work, but copy protected channels will not.

Since the pairing pairs the cablecard to the specific device, it can't be moved to another device.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:19 PM   #7896
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Thank you for the replies.
It seems like Comcast can do whatever they like.
I was originally told 1.50 over the phone for a cable card.
Further discussion revealed the card would be 7.95 EACH! Ouch.
I protested loudly, so he will credit the install fee (which is a ridiculous exercise...I can do it easier if they would just allow it) only after they have come out.
However, the 7.95 x 2 charges can not be adjusted according to him.
Wish I would have known. I just as easily could have bought another TivoHD.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:54 PM   #7897
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If your local headend requires cablecards to be paired (and mine does) then the answer is no. If the cablecard is not paired, some channels will appear to be working and others may not. IIRC, encrypted channels may work, but copy protected channels will not.

Since the pairing pairs the cablecard to the specific device, it can't be moved to another device.
Ok. I think I understand.
Any reason why then, if I unplugged the (original)cable card from the (original) device (Tivo) and then plugged it back in right away, I now can not get all my channels. If I am receiving some signals, is not the device "paired" to the card?
Color me confused. And frustrated.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:10 PM   #7898
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Shakopee, MN Comcast customer here with 3 Tivo's and each has a M-type cable card installed. No fee's and I only pay $15 for the guy to sit in a chair to read some numbers to a person on the phone.

Appointments and installs have been a breeze to schedule, guess I live in one of the good Comcast zones!
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:34 PM   #7899
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Originally Posted by jilter View Post
Ok. I think I understand.
Any reason why then, if I unplugged the (original)cable card from the (original) device (Tivo) and then plugged it back in right away, I now can not get all my channels. If I am receiving some signals, is not the device "paired" to the card?
Color me confused. And frustrated.
Same thing happened to me. Had to have a truck roll to repair the card. Doesn't make sense, but that's the way it is apparently.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:07 PM   #7900
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Originally Posted by jilter View Post
Ok. I think I understand.
Any reason why then, if I unplugged the (original)cable card from the (original) device (Tivo) and then plugged it back in right away, I now can not get all my channels. If I am receiving some signals, is not the device "paired" to the card?
Color me confused. And frustrated.
I was under the impression that if you remove the card and then install it back into the same device, it should work. I have only removed one of my cards once and then plugged it back in/reseated it and my channels continued to work.

My understanding is that there are essentially 3 levels of service.

1) unencrypted QAM channels. These are usually the local broadcast stations and should be receivable even without a cablecard. However, channel numbers will be incorrect and you can't usually get guide data. There is an exception to this guide data rule in a very limited number of markets.

2) encrypted QAM channels. The cablecard decrypts the channels for viewing if authorized in your subscription package. I don't believe the card has to be paired to receive these channels. The card provides channel mapping so that the channel numbers will be as advertised by the cable company and Tivo can then match the guide data to the correct channels.

3) encrypted and copy protected QAM channels. The cablecard must be paired with the specific device. If paired properly, all of #2 above applies plus copy protected channels can be viewed. However, copy protected channels can not be transferred to another Tivo or Tivo Desktop. In other words, Multi Room Viewing (MRV) is impossible. In my market, Comcast only copy protects Sundance, Encore, and pay tv/HBO, Showtime, etc.

If you removed the cablecard and then re-inserted it, and some, but not all, channels came back, I wonder if the card needs time to refresh its authorization. How much time has elapsed? Have the missing channels returned? What channelsl are missing? If not, I would try rebooting.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:13 PM   #7901
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Originally Posted by jilter View Post
Thank you for the replies.
It seems like Comcast can do whatever they like.
I was originally told 1.50 over the phone for a cable card.
Further discussion revealed the card would be 7.95 EACH! Ouch.
I protested loudly, so he will credit the install fee (which is a ridiculous exercise...I can do it easier if they would just allow it) only after they have come out.
However, the 7.95 x 2 charges can not be adjusted according to him.
Wish I would have known. I just as easily could have bought another TivoHD.
Ask to see a copy of the written tarriff. The Comcast site says the regulated rates may vary according to the franchise authority. To me this means it's different if the franchise authority requires it to be different (perhaps I'm being a bit optimistic). At any rate it should be in some document if it's not what the Comcast site claims it normally to be.
There's also an email address on this thread if you believe you're being told a line - hopefully the Comcast Cares desk can research what your specific rate should be, rather than giving you a platitude along the lines of "Well, it can vary by location..."
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:54 PM   #7902
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I was under the impression that if you remove the card and then install it back into the same device, it should work. I have only removed one of my cards once and then plugged it back in/reseated it and my channels continued to work.

My understanding is that there are essentially 3 levels of service.

1) unencrypted QAM channels. These are usually the local broadcast stations and should be receivable even without a cablecard. However, channel numbers will be incorrect and you can't usually get guide data. There is an exception to this guide data rule in a very limited number of markets.

2) encrypted QAM channels. The cablecard decrypts the channels for viewing if authorized in your subscription package. I don't believe the card has to be paired to receive these channels. The card provides channel mapping so that the channel numbers will be as advertised by the cable company and Tivo can then match the guide data to the correct channels.

3) encrypted and copy protected QAM channels. The cablecard must be paired with the specific device. If paired properly, all of #2 above applies plus copy protected channels can be viewed. However, copy protected channels can not be transferred to another Tivo or Tivo Desktop. In other words, Multi Room Viewing (MRV) is impossible. In my market, Comcast only copy protects Sundance, Encore, and pay tv/HBO, Showtime, etc.

If you removed the cablecard and then re-inserted it, and some, but not all, channels came back, I wonder if the card needs time to refresh its authorization. How much time has elapsed? Have the missing channels returned? What channelsl are missing? If not, I would try rebooting.
Its been 3 hours.
It looks like the subscription channels such as HBO, Showtime, etc still will not tune in.
Comcast tried over the phone to "send a signal", but that was fruitless of course.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:32 PM   #7903
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Originally Posted by jilter View Post
Its been 3 hours.
It looks like the subscription channels such as HBO, Showtime, etc still will not tune in.
Comcast tried over the phone to "send a signal", but that was fruitless of course.
This troubleshooting document may help you find the problem. I have linked you to item #6 which involves pairing issues. However, the whole document may be of use to you.

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...pairingbinding
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:52 AM   #7904
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This troubleshooting document may help you find the problem. I have linked you to item #6 which involves pairing issues. However, the whole document may be of use to you.

http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/...pairingbinding
I really appreciate your link to that document.

I was wondering though if someone could lease explain something I can not get past. If the card has become "unpaired" (all I did is remove it from the slot briefly), why can I see some channels, not others? Is the "pairing" only so the cable company can control the content you pay extra for?
Just removing it from the device....this is enough to lose the authorization....?
Is this to prevent you form what....? Moving a cable card back and forth between devices?

I am so frustrated by this. And very sorry for going ahead and getting my fourth Tivo.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:09 AM   #7905
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Originally Posted by jilter View Post
If the card has become "unpaired" (all I did is remove it from the slot briefly), why can I see some channels, not others? Is the "pairing" only so the cable company can control the content you pay extra for?
The troubleshooting guide implies that pairing is necessary to see copy-protected channels, but not required to see encrypted channels that aren't copy-protected.

PS: Wow, that troubleshooting guide is nice.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:45 AM   #7906
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Its been 3 hours.
It looks like the subscription channels such as HBO, Showtime, etc still will not tune in.
Comcast tried over the phone to "send a signal", but that was fruitless of course.
That suggests those are "pay extra subscription channels" which are probably copy protected. Since you can view other channels, but not the copy protected channels, this suggests a pairing issue.

Have you been able to "troubleshoot" those channels yet. I believe that document tells you how to see if the card has been paired.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #7907
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I have had to remove and re-insert my CableCards (in an S3) several times to force the TiVo to reload the channel map. It happens irregularly and is getting to the point of being annoying.
What happens, is I will change a channel on one tuner or the other, and get gray screen/Channel Not Available. Some channels will still work, some will not. Going to "Test Channels" brings up an incomplete, seemingly random list of channels that will still tune in (without any apparent 'tier' bias towards what is there and what is not).
Once I remove and then re-insert the cards, the DVR Diagnostics indicate I have no Channel List, and will get the channel list from the OOB data anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes after OOB tune is complete on BOTH cards.

I am not sure what exactly is happening as it does it on two S3 Tivos at different times (and different channels are gone), but from my conversations with tech support, I may be the only one on the Sarasota/Venice headend with a TiVo and CableCards.

So in my experience, removing and re-inserting the cards into the same slots will in fact force the TiVo to reload the channel map automatically from the OOB data stream.

Any thoughts on what would cause this corruption of the channel map(s)??
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:29 PM   #7908
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Can anyone help me interpret my Comcast bill, before I call Comcast, because I'm sure something's off with their billing? I've attached a photo of the bill:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1316427/photo.JPG

Equipment-wise, I've got a Comcast HD box (which I don't see listed) for PPV/OnDemand, and (3) Series 3 TiVos, so (6) cablecards altogether. I just recently moved across town and re-established service with Comcast, and I'm pretty sure they used to charge a fee for each outlet (with the first free), plus $1.50 for the 2nd cablecard on the outlet, as per the Comcast website FAQ.

Now, I see there's some sort of HD Technology Fee, and it looks like my 2nd cablecards for each box are getting charged a "Digital Access Fee," but then I'm not sure why there's an extra $1.50 cablecard fee. Very confusing.

FYI, I'm in the Chicago area, in case anyone is interested. They don't seem to know how to charge for cablecards in this area, and the few times I've moved and established service, they look at me like I'm crazy when I say I need 6 cablecards.

Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:26 PM   #7909
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This is precisely why I got a built an HTPC with a Ceton card. No monthly equipment fees.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:24 PM   #7910
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Jeez, that's depressing. One big reason I switched to FiOS was because Comcast excelled at conjuring up ridiculous charges like this.

The Verizon FiOS bill, in contrast, was simple. And they didn't rip me off with "technology fees". But, alas, Verizon sold us out to Frontier, and I predict that Frontier will shut down TV entirely within a year or two.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #7911
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This is precisely why I got a built an HTPC with a Ceton card. No monthly equipment fees.
So, you just enjoy hanging out here talking about cablecards?
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:29 AM   #7912
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Can anyone help me interpret my Comcast bill, before I call Comcast, because I'm sure something's off with their billing? I've attached a photo of the bill:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1316427/photo.JPG

Equipment-wise, I've got a Comcast HD box (which I don't see listed) for PPV/OnDemand, and (3) Series 3 TiVos, so (6) cablecards altogether. I just recently moved across town and re-established service with Comcast, and I'm pretty sure they used to charge a fee for each outlet (with the first free), plus $1.50 for the 2nd cablecard on the outlet, as per the Comcast website FAQ.

Now, I see there's some sort of HD Technology Fee, and it looks like my 2nd cablecards for each box are getting charged a "Digital Access Fee," but then I'm not sure why there's an extra $1.50 cablecard fee. Very confusing.

FYI, I'm in the Chicago area, in case anyone is interested. They don't seem to know how to charge for cablecards in this area, and the few times I've moved and established service, they look at me like I'm crazy when I say I need 6 cablecards.

Thanks!
So, after 17 emails back and forth with Sandra at Comcast Cares, and I still can't get a clear explanation for these charges, which are clearly bogus. Any other ideas?
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:49 AM   #7913
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So, after 17 emails back and forth with Sandra at Comcast Cares, and I still can't get a clear explanation for these charges, which are clearly bogus. Any other ideas?
When I looked at your bill, I believed it was clearly in error. But, if Comcast Cares can't help you, then you may be screwed.

Are you sure Sandra is in the corporate office or is she possibly a regional rep? When I contacted Comcast Cares, I got a call from someone in my regional office to fix my problem.

I always found a published rate sheet to be most helpful. Has Sandra referred you to a rate sheet and/or the Cablecard FAQ?

The one item that the jury is still out on is the HD Technology Fee. Is that for HD Technology at the headend or in the subscriber home? I have never seen a clear explanation of it. So far, I am not being billed for it.

But the rest of your bill should be simple. You know how many devices and cablecards you have and those are pretty well spelled out in the rate sheet and FAQ.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:51 PM   #7914
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She works in Comcast Executive Care, whatever that means.

I referred HER to the Cablecard FAQ, and then she quoted it back to me, but still didn't change the pricing. I asked her to break it down by outlet, and here's what she sent:

Quote:
1st Tivo = $0.00 +$ 1.50 = $1.50 +7.95 Digital Access Fee = $9.45
2nd Tivo =$7.95 + $1.50 = $9.45 +7.95 Digital Access Fee = $17.40
3rd Tivo =$7.95 + $1.50 = $9.45 +7.95 Digital Access Fee = $17.40
HD Equipment fee $8.95 Totals = $53.20
I was told that the "HD Technology Fee" is charged once per account, and is for their HD box. Not sure that's what it's really for. Basically, I believe they're charging me and extra $7.95/box "Digital Access Fee."

I've forwarded her emails to Melissa at Comcast Cares, and I'm crossing my fingers.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:04 PM   #7915
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She works in Comcast Executive Care, whatever that means.

I referred HER to the Cablecard FAQ, and then she quoted it back to me, but still didn't change the pricing. I asked her to break it down by outlet, and here's what she sent:



I was told that the "HD Technology Fee" is charged once per account, and is for their HD box. Not sure that's what it's really for. Basically, I believe they're charging me and extra $7.95/box "Digital Access Fee."

I've forwarded her emails to Melissa at Comcast Cares, and I'm crossing my fingers.
I agree. The first $7.95 is for the "additional digital outlet" and there should be no "Digital Access Fee" per Tivo. If you have a Comcast HD box, then obviously the HD Technology Fee applies. I am not sure why their box does not show up on the account if they are allowing one of the Tivos to be $0.00 as the first device on the account.

Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:12 PM   #7916
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So, you just enjoy hanging out here talking about cablecards?
Essentially
Had I had lifetime on the Tivo, I would have kept it up too.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #7917
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chicago

I recently added a couple of premier boxes to the PIL home in Chicago downtown.

They have free cable services, including all premiums like HBO, Starz, Show, ETc. They ARE missing some HD's like NGC and some others, which would cost more.

Currently, they had one comcast HD tuner, one comcast SD (although some digital come in) tuner, and I ADDED TWO TIVO PREMIER.

The new charges were.
8.00 to activate a digital outlet (not sure whey, they were already active)
8.00 to activate a digital outlet
1.99 change of services fee.

new recurring seems to be

Digital A/O Cable Card 9.45$ monthly
cable card 1.50$

this is odd, since each tivo only has ONE CableCard in it, it would seem actually that they should have either ONE 9.45$ fee, or TWO, but not a 1.50$ second cable card on same outlet fee.

So, their monthly went up about 11$ all in (not including the tivo charges - but I managed to get one box done for 299$ Lifetime and the other is 120$ a year - not sure why I'm waiting on that one.)
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:18 PM   #7918
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this is odd, since each tivo only has ONE CableCard in it, it would seem actually that they should have either ONE 9.45$ fee, or TWO, but not a 1.50$ second cable card on same outlet fee.
Don't complain. Looks like (by their lights) you are being undercharged. They could theoretically charge you for 3 additional digital outlets, since the SD box counts as one.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:17 PM   #7919
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Finally, after about a week of back & forth with Comcast Cares, they realized their mistake. I was informed by two different people initially that I was being charged correctly. It took a LOT of fighting.

It looks like they were charging me for 3 TiVos with cablecards, and 3 TV's with cablecards, although where they came up with THAT idea, I don't know.

Final equipment costs, for three S3's and one Comcast HD box:

Equipment Cost:
ˇ HD Tech fee $8.95 (I think this is a blanket charge for the account?)
ˇ Digital Access Fee $7.95 (for the Comcast box?)
ˇ T3DVRCards $1.50 (one outlet fee/CC is waived, so this is for 2nd card)
ˇ Dig A/O Cable Card $9.45 (Outlet + 2nd CC)
ˇ Dig A/O Cable Card $9.45 (Outlet + 2nd CC)

Total $37.30

FYI, I got $41 in credit for my troubles. Yay for me.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:12 PM   #7920
fishboy
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 33
Smile another similar scenario and solution

Thought I would log my recent scenario too, since it is a similar case. I'm in Canton, GA but on the Forsyth/Bartow channel line up if that helps anyone out there in my area.

Have had 2 TivoHDs with 2 CableCards each (4 total S-Cards) for over 3 years. Always been charged for 3 CableCards @ $1.50 each ($4.50 total) with the first one being free. (I know I could have gotten two M-cards and lowered that price to $1.50 for the one extra, but never went through the hassle since everything was working well as is and didn't want to chance anything.)

This month my bill reflected a change in service:
- removal of Qty 3 CableCard @ $1.50 each
- addition of Qty 3 Digital Service @ $8.50 each

I nearly flipped out at an increase of $21 ($25.50 versus $4.50) for nothing in return. The strange part is that I didn't make any changes to my service, it just happened randomly.

I called the main support number, got an agent who explained that I was previously being "under charged for over a year" and that this was the standard rate "for CableCards" since I had "4 digital outlets". I told her that it was unacceptable that I was never notified, I've been a customer for 4+ years (3+ as a Tivo customer) and besides the point I only had 2 Tivo's (aka digital outlets) and that, in fact, I could switch out the S-cards for M-cards and only have a rate of $8.50 for the second card/digital outlet. I also said that if they required me to switch out the cards, I was not paying for the truck role if they required an onsite install since it was their issue not mine. She promptly said that she couldn't make those types of decisions and would have supervisor/customer care person call me back within 3 hours. (I wasn't holding my breath, but agreed and hung up.)

Surprisingly within about 4-5 hours I received a call from a local person who in fact understood my predicament and we settled on the following setup.

1st card: free
2nd card: $1.50 (said this was standard)
3rd card: $8.50
4th card: $8.50
and a monthly credit for one year of $15.

This essentially puts me at 3.50 for three CableCards whereas I was paying 4.50 before. Of course, I'll need to figure out what to do between now and 12 months from now, but at least I got it resolved for now. [I wonder if I could pay to have the replace my 4 S-cards with 2 M-cards and reduce my bill by $17/month plus still get the $15/mo credit... hmm... I may try that if I feel lucky next month.)

I must also say that, in my area, every time it seems that Comcast is going to screw me, somehow they end up coming through in the end. I have been a happy Comcast customer for 4 year and it looks like they just bought me for at least another year.

Hope this helps someone else. Later guys and gals.
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