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Old 08-20-2012, 02:28 PM   #8581
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Originally Posted by lpwcomp View Post
One of the problems here is that their accounting system does not distinguish between one of their boxes and a CableCARD. Since it does distinguish between a full cable box and a DTA, there is no logical explanation for this except as deliberate obfuscation.
That might have been the case originally, but I'm pretty certain their billing system now does know the difference between a CableCARD and a cable box. The reason I say so is that about 3 years ago, my bill shot up by about $30 and my bill showed 4 cable box rentals. When I called to complain I was told the billing system, got screwed up and changed my 3 cableCARDs to cable boxes (I do rent one box). They corrected this. The same thing had happened when I first signed up for cableCARDs about 6 years ago. That was back when the box rental fee was about $10 instead of the $3 it is now though.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:53 PM   #8582
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That might have been the case originally, but I'm pretty certain their billing system now does know the difference between a CableCARD and a cable box. The reason I say so is that about 3 years ago, my bill shot up by about $30 and my bill showed 4 cable box rentals. When I called to complain I was told the billing system, got screwed up and changed my 3 cableCARDs to cable boxes (I do rent one box). They corrected this. The same thing had happened when I first signed up for cableCARDs about 6 years ago. That was back when the box rental fee was about $10 instead of the $3 it is now though.
Since I got my latest CableCARD in June of this year, it has definitely not been fixed everywhere.

When I go to the self-activation page, there are two "Digital Terminal Adapters" and 4 "Digital Set Top Boxes" listed. In reality, I have two DTAs (only one of which was ever activated and neither is currently in service), 1 SD set top box and 3 CableCARDS.

The 1 one actual "Set Top Box" I have is further identified as "MOTO model MSCC9060". The three CableCARDs are identified as "DEFAULT model STB".
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:50 PM   #8583
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$1.50 card charge - phone retention?

The local office says $1.50/month is the "TiVo charge". There is no such listing on the July 2012 Services & Pricing information which says first card free, $1.50 for add'l card in same device. So I wrote to the link suggested in this thread and got a wonderful robo-response suggesting I phone retention. Which I will do when my current six months package deal expires.

"I apologize for the many difficulties that you have experienced regarding you being charged $1.50 for your Tivo card and you will like to be credited each month of
the $1.50, I can definitely understand your frustration, I would be frustrated too. You have reached the right person and I can assure you that I am more than dedicated with assiting you.

" ... we here at Comcast have a Retention department where we can
assist you with discounts and pricing. You can call us here at 1-800
Comcast so that we can see if we are able to lower your price for the
Tivo card."
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:27 AM   #8584
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LOL, this thread is one long circle of frustration over Comcast billing now. I'm glad it's just that and not the fiasco that card activations used to be, but it's still sad.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:33 AM   #8585
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I live in Brownstown Michigan using Comcast from Taylor. I have two TiVo's with an M-card in each one. I just ordered a new Premier 4 and I will have it this Wednesday. I plan on disabling one of my TiVo's and transferring the cable card to my new Premier. Does anyone know if I can just call to pair/activate the card in my new TiVo or do they have to do a truck roll in my Taylor Michigan area?
A call did it, no need for a truck roll in S.E. Michigan.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #8586
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I live in Brownstown Michigan using Comcast from Taylor. I have two TiVo's with an M-card in each one. I just ordered a new Premier 4 and I will have it this Wednesday. I plan on disabling one of my TiVo's and transferring the cable card to my new Premier. Does anyone know if I can just call to pair/activate the card in my new TiVo or do they have to do a truck roll in my Taylor Michigan area?
Last I knew that required them to "remove the CableCard from the inventory". Which took second tier support. But I haven't seen that in this thread for a while, so there maybe a work around now.
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:25 AM   #8587
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Finally got my Series 3 OLED up and running with cable cards yesterday. Overall, pretty easy, but I finally had to deal with a legitimately bad card. Picked up two cards on Tuesday and installed them. One would pair, but the other wouldn't pair no matter what they tried. Went back the next day and swapped the bad card out. The new card activated/paired perfectly. So through 3 Tivo units, 1 out of 5 cards was bad. Overall, I think the folks in the Cable Card activation center seem to have this process all worked out now because it was really quite easy. I recommend getting the cards from the local office and doing self install. Just make sure to call the cable card activation line, not the general Comcast helpline.

For reference, that number is 877-405-2298

Now I just have to wait and see what my next bill has on it.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #8588
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I am about to pull my hair out. Last week, one of my TiVos suddenly stopped tuning any channels at all. Comcast sent a hit to the box, said it responded, told me to wait 45 minutes and call back if needed. Needless to say, nothing changed. They end up scheduling an appointment for this Friday and said the CableCard must be bad. To try and speed things up, today I exchanged the CableCard, got home and called for activation, and I get the same thing. They say everything looks good on their end, but I get no channels.

When I check signal strength, it is zero. But the cable is connected, as evidenced by their ability to pair and hit the CableCard. I see the card receiving messages. But the TiVo can't find any signal.

Is this a TiVo issue? Could the tuner die while all other functionality is preserved?
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:30 AM   #8589
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I am about to pull my hair out. Last week, one of my TiVos suddenly stopped tuning any channels at all. Comcast sent a hit to the box, said it responded, told me to wait 45 minutes and call back if needed. Needless to say, nothing changed. They end up scheduling an appointment for this Friday and said the CableCard must be bad. To try and speed things up, today I exchanged the CableCard, got home and called for activation, and I get the same thing. They say everything looks good on their end, but I get no channels.

When I check signal strength, it is zero. But the cable is connected, as evidenced by their ability to pair and hit the CableCard. I see the card receiving messages. But the TiVo can't find any signal.

Is this a TiVo issue? Could the tuner die while all other functionality is preserved?

A power supply problem can cause all sorts of strange symptoms and S2s and S3s are at risk for "capacitor plague".
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:10 PM   #8590
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For the first time in my life, it was actually an issue with the wiring--the connector on the run from the wiring closet is wonky (shoddy install work I've been putting off having redone). Glad I did the work to track it down before Comcast got here or I'd be paying them for a service call.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:39 PM   #8591
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I still can't believe that I pay $135 a month to get basic, "plus", HD, and a discounted HBO at $10 a month. I only have 3 tvs in the house too.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:15 PM   #8592
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I still can't believe that I pay $135 a month to get basic, "plus", HD, and a discounted HBO at $10 a month. I only have 3 tvs in the house too.
If they are your only choice for cable in your neighborhood, I find it very believeable.

It's called milking a monopoly for all you can get.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:05 PM   #8593
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Yep, you won the card lotto here in the ATL. Well, at least until you add the S3 then I guarantee you will have AO's.
Well, I must really be lucky. I added my S3 OLED last month (my 3rd box on the account) and I just saw my bill for the month. Still no AO fees or HD Tech fees. Just 4x $1.50 in fees for the cards and a credit of 3x $2.50 for the owned equipment. I guess I could complain because I'm paying $4.50 more than I should since 3 of the cards should be free, but I can live with that vs the chance of having AO fees.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:32 AM   #8594
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Well, I must really be lucky. I added my S3 OLED last month (my 3rd box on the account) and I just saw my bill for the month. Still no AO fees or HD Tech fees. Just 4x $1.50 in fees for the cards and a credit of 3x $2.50 for the owned equipment. I guess I could complain because I'm paying $4.50 more than I should since 3 of the cards should be free, but I can live with that vs the chance of having AO fees.
I agree that you have lucked out (so far) in the Comcast billing roulette. Congratulations! But be aware that your charges could change at any time. If I remember your set-up correctly (Premiere + S3HD + S3-OLED), you should eventually see two AO (or "Digital Service") charges of $9.95 each, one $1.50 charge for the second CC in the OLED, minus three Customer-Owned Equipment credits of $2.50 each, for a total of $13.90 p.m. at current rates (plus fees and taxes).

BTW, only the first card in the first device is supposed to be free, so in principal you should be billed for three cards, not one as you stated.

I took my complaint (see my post #8579 above) to Comcast's Customer Operations office here in Atlanta, but their rep claims that they have justified the imposition of the "additional outlet" digital service fee with the FCC in response to a customer complaint (possibly slowbiscuit's). Although the line item on my bill reads "Digital Service," I was told that the fee code on the account actually reads "digital service with CableCARD" and this fee is in lieu of a specific CableCARD charge. In other words, there is no charge for the cards, but only for the use of any cards on additional outlets beyond the principal outlet. And, in fact, my bill no longer makes any mention of CableCARDs.

I urged the rep to inform his marketing and billing departments of this fee structure and to ensure that the rate card accurately reflects the charges for CableCARDs in additional devices. Currently there is no mention on the published rate cards (including the newest one effective Oct 1, 2012) or on the Comcast website. And the billing dept. CSR's are completely at sea on the issue.

If it's any consolation, even if you wind up paying $13.90 for the four CC's, that's still only about $3.50 per card, or within the FCC's stated guidelines. Of course, if you had four or more TiVo DVR's, the per unit rate would no longer be as reasonable. And I'm still galled that (1) the billing is duplicitous and (2) the actual charges are not published and usually not even reliably quoted by the billing dept. CSR's.

I intend to write a letter to TiVo's CEO to alert him to the way Comcast is trying to circumvent the FCC rules in order to dissuade or penalize their customers who prefer not to rent Comcast's navigation devices. If the FCC won't respond to the concerns of individual customers, perhaps they will be more attentive to a complaint from the retail CableCARD device industry.

Billbillw, I would be curious to know what your zip code is and to learn whether other customers in your zip code are being charged the same as you.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:38 AM   #8595
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BTW, only the first card in the first device is supposed to be free, so in principal you should be billed for three cards, not one as you stated.
Go read it again. You should only be billed for the second card in the same device.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:31 PM   #8596
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Go read it again. You should only be billed for the second card in the same device.
See, you're making my point for me regarding the duplicitous and (probably intentionally) opaque rate scheme. The published rate card only addresses the situation where more than one CableCARD is being used in a single device, in which case the first card is free and the second card in the same device is billed at $1.50. It does not list the charge for additional card(s) on the same account but in additional devices.

The assumption (and the billing practice at least on my account up until June of this year) was that, since no other billing structure is stated, additional cards in additional devices would be billed at the same rate as the additional card in the original device, i.e., $1.50. By not specifying the applicable CableCARD rates for customers with more than one device on their account, Comcast is, in my opinion, in clear violation of the FCC rules with their $9.95 charge per card.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:22 PM   #8597
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See, you're making my point for me regarding the duplicitous and (probably intentionally) opaque rate scheme. The published rate card only addresses the situation where more than one CableCARD is being used in a single device, in which case the first card is free and the second card in the same device is billed at $1.50. It does not list the charge for additional card(s) on the same account but in additional devices.

The assumption (and the billing practice at least on my account up until June of this year) was that, since no other billing structure is stated, additional cards in additional devices would be billed at the same rate as the additional card in the original device, i.e., $1.50. By not specifying the applicable CableCARD rates for customers with more than one device on their account, Comcast is, in my opinion, in clear violation of the FCC rules with their $9.95 charge per card.
This is from the Comcast website (emphasis theirs):
Quote:
How much will I be charged to use a CableCARD?

The first CableCARD in a retail device (e.g., TiVo devices or CableCARD equipped televisions) is free to Comcast customers. If a second CableCARD is needed for the same device (i.e., TiVo Series 3 boxes), the cost is $1.50 per month for the additional card. Again, this ONLY applies to a second CableCARD in the same device.
The problem is that their billing system is so screwed up that what an individual user ends up getting charged varies not only from locale to locale but from CSR to CSR and is probably influenced by the phase of the moon.

IMHO, they are in gross violation of at least the intent of the FCC regulations since they are far from transparent and totally inconsistent in their CableCARD charges. The last time I got a CableCARD, they added an ADO charge to my bill the day I picked it up, in spite of the fact that I waited more than a month to actually install and activate it. In addition, you have to explicitly request the "customer owned equipment credit" whereas it should be automatic. Getting the FCC to actually do something about it is another matter entirely. They don't care.
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:56 PM   #8598
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The problem is that their billing system is so screwed up that what an individual user ends up getting charged varies not only from locale to locale but from CSR to CSR and is probably influenced by the phase of the moon.

IMHO, they are in gross violation of at least the intent of the FCC regulations since they are far from transparent and totally inconsistent in their CableCARD charges. The last time I got a CableCARD, they added an ADO charge to my bill the day I picked it up, in spite of the fact that I waited more than a month to actually install and activate it. In addition, you have to explicitly request the "customer owned equipment credit" whereas it should be automatic. Getting the FCC to actually do something about it is another matter entirely. They don't care.
Again, I must emphatically agree with you, except for your statement that the FCC does not care. They cared enough to push through last year's new CableCARD rules, which as I understand it took considerable negotiation with all the parties concerned, including the TelCo's. But they are not a consumer agency in any real sense of the word, which is why I want to press TiVo and their industry consortium to bring a case.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:01 PM   #8599
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lpwcomp summarizes the problem in a nutshell - we all know that Comcast is, at the least, violating the spirit of the FCC card billing rules. But the FCC doesn't care - interestingly enough, I called the FCC about it using the phone number they posted on some Cablecard notice from last year, and the guy at the office I talked to had no idea what they were supposed to do when a citizen called, even though I used the number they gave.

He called back the next day and wanted more information but had nothing specific to say about Comcast or card billing in general, just to file a complaint and they'd take a look at it IF they got enough of them to care. So I did, and I asked others here to do so, and it went nowhere - I never heard from them at all, just Comcast's letter to me and them with the lame excuse about how A/O's were fully justified under the new rules.

Bottom line it is as chiguy said, the consumers don't mean squat as usual - only BigCo's and their money/influence.
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:01 PM   #8600
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Bottom line it is as chiguy said, the consumers don't mean squat as usual - only BigCo's and their money/influence.
Yeah, well, that's the nature of our corporate plutocracy; but until there's a seismic shift in our political power structure, Realpolitik dictates that we work within the system if we want positive results.

That's why I hope others will follow my lead in writing about the Comcast fees to TiVo, a corporation which, together with their brethren in the video navigation device industry, has a vested interest in preventing the TelCo's from imposing onerous fees on CableCARD users. They had a seat at the table when the FCC was drafting the current rules and their bottom line stands to be negatively impacted by Comcast's circumventing of those rules. Here's the address:

Tom Rogers
CEO/President, TiVo
2160 Gold Street
P.O. Box 2160
Alviso, CA USA 95002
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:31 PM   #8601
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After reading the last few posts, I just wanted to mention that I never had to request the customer owned credit. It showed up automatically for each and every one of my 3 devices. Like I said, I'm just not going to complain.

Also, for those who were asking, I'm out in west cobb (30127), but I picked up my cable cards from the Dallas (Paulding) office.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #8602
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Just an FYI:
I called the Comcast Cablecard number today to PAIR my card with a Tivo. Other than the wait/hold to talk to a person (10 mins), it was completely painless and took 5 minutes. The person knew the process and it worked the first time. A vast improvement over past experiences (going back many years).
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:54 PM   #8603
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Just an FYI:
I called the Comcast Cablecard number today to PAIR my card with a Tivo. Other than the wait/hold to talk to a person (10 mins), it was completely painless and took 5 minutes. The person knew the process and it worked the first time. A vast improvement over past experiences (going back many years).
I've had the same experience recently. Far different than the last time I had to do it ~6 years ago.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:23 AM   #8604
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I have had fairly good success recently with pairing Comcast cable cards to my TiVos (Premiere and S3). However, due to the cable card charges Comcast pulls, I'm possibly looking at some alternatives. Specifically the cable card compatible products by Ceton and SiliconDust.

Since these are probably not as popular products as TiVos (and I'm thinking could potentially confuse a customer service rep), I'm wondering how hard or easy it would be to pair a Comcast cable M-card in either one of these company's products. Has anybody had a good or bad experience with trying to pair a cable card in a Ceton/SiliconDust product?

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:28 AM   #8605
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I have had fairly good success recently with pairing Comcast cable cards to my TiVos (Premiere and S3). However, due to the cable card charges Comcast pulls, I'm possibly looking at some alternatives. Specifically the cable card compativle products by Ceton and SiliconDust.

Since these are probably not as popular products as TiVos (and I'm thinking could potentially confuse a customer service rep), I'm wondering how hard or easy it would be to pair a Comcast cable M-card in either one of these company's products. Has anybody had a good or bad experience with trying to pair a cable card in a Ceton/SiliconDust product?
Won't you pay the same for a cable card from Comcast whether or not it is in a TiVo or another product?
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #8606
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Won't you pay the same for a cable card from Comcast whether or not it is in a TiVo or another product?
the main reason I am considering the Ceton or SiliconDust products is cause they offer 3 or 4 tuner devices that run off ONE M-card. I can then use Xbox360s as "media extenders" to watch live TV for each additional TV that will basically use just that ONE M-card. Comcast provides the first M-card for free so I could have a whole home DVR solution this way at no additional charge.

Right now, a whole home DVR solution with TiVo means buying additional TiVos and being charged for additional cable cards by Comcast. Not taking into consideration the hardware cost, a comparable 3-4 TV setup with TiVos would mean 2-3 additional cable cards at $10/month each.

So, basically a whole home DVR solution with TiVo would mean an additional $20-30/month in cable card fees. With Ceton/SiliconDust, no extra costs for 3 or 4 TVs since they all are running off that one and only M-card.

I realize TiVo is suppose to be coming out with the TiVo "mini" in the near future that might solve this problem, but nobody is sure what the cost of that will be (fixed, monthly, etc.) so I'm just looking at some cable card based alternatives right now. Xbox360 with Ceton/SiliconDust products seem to be the best options right now. Will see.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:28 PM   #8607
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Has anybody had a good or bad experience with trying to pair a cable card in a Ceton/SiliconDust product?
I used the Comcast Cablecard number to activate with the Centon tuner card about 9 months ago, very painless, took about 5 minutes.
I never told them what kind of device the card was in and they never asked.

BTW, I'm a big Tivo fan, but WMC has been an excellent replacement.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #8608
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Yea, the WMC and Ceton/SiliconDust products might be a worthy contender. I'm learning that having Xbox360 media extenders would provide many additional features over a traditional Comcast digital box including the following:

- a gaming machine
- an internet streaming box (netflix, Amazon, etc.)
- a home network streaming box
- a music streaming box
- HBO GO streaming device

Plus, I would gain back access to Xfinity OnDemand material with an Xbox360. All this and it would run off ONE M-card from Comcast. Works for me.

The only main issue I am finding so far is that this type of setup will only start recording something from where I am at in the middle of a live program even if it has 10mins of buffer before it. Tivo will back record if needed and available.

I was told this might be due to TiVo having a patent on this feature so they couldn't put it in the WMC console. Also, channel changing with a WMC setup is apparently not as fast as my TiVos. Oh well. Can't win them all
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:48 AM   #8609
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Had no issues activating a card on an SD HDHomerun Prime last year, using Comcast's CC activation line. You should be fine.

If you're using this as your sole TV setup, I would dedicate a PC to the cause with enough memory and CPU (8GB and any modern multi-core CPU) to handle 3-4 extenders at once. Don't use the PC for other stuff, set it to sleep/wake for recordings and viewing, and you may want to disable Windows updates when you get it working well.

You will probably notice that WMC does not have guide data that is as up to date as Tivo, which means the wrong stuff gets recorded occasionally and/or dupe recordings get done whereas Tivo won't do this. Not a big deal usually, and the guide data is free so not much to complain about.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:20 AM   #8610
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Color me shocked, surprised and pleased.

I bought a Premiere XL4 that arrived Monday so yesterday I called Comcast to see if I could pick of CableCARDs for self-install on it and the other Premiere I've had afor a few years that I never bothered to install a CableCARD into. The agent checked my area and found the location nearest me didn't have any but the next closest one (about 14 miles away) did. He had them hold 2 for me.

I drover there and, lo and behold, 2 M-cards were waiting for me. The agent at the service center added them to my account.

That evening I went home, and since it was close to prime time decided to just install the CableCARDs in the units, but connect them off in another room so I wouldn't interfere with my existing machines during prime recording time. That was a good choice simply because of how long it took to go through all the downloads, reboots, initialization and configuration for the XL4 since it hadn't been connected before. I know this is basically a one-time thing, but TiVo needs to realize this is the very first experience a new user will have with the box and it's just ridiculous how long it takes and how many times you have to go through the first 2 or 4 setup screens every time it reboots after downloading something.

This morning I called Comcast's CableCARD pairing number that was on the self-install guide. The agent who answered took the card serial number, CableCARD ID and Host ID from each unit and configured them. While I was on the phone with her the XL4 received it's authorization, and about 20 seconds after hanging up the other Premiere was authorized as well. Total time on the phone with Comcast -- less than 5 minutes.

This is how the experience should have been 5 years ago.
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