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Old 09-26-2006, 11:30 AM   #481
gregkeene
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Comcast CableCARD Details & Reset Experience

In the Oregon market, install free, CableCARDs free (up-front and monthly).

We recently reviewed the TiVo Series 3 with the weaKnees upgrade.
Here: http://techdigs.net/content/view/45/42/

In addition to that, we created a tips article. In the tips article, we talk about the Comcast experience in detail.
Here: http://techdigs.net/content/view/46/42/

In summary, our Comcast experience was good on the initial installation. To test out the TiVo and Comcast, we completely reset the TiVo so that we'd have to re-initialize the CableCARDs and that's where we saw a couple of issues. Comcast has an issue with their system that can be confusing. For details on cablecard config, jump
here: http://techdigs.net/content/view/46/42/#ccconfig
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:31 AM   #482
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregor
Actually if you sign up for KidZone, IIRC, there's some sort of weird SP saving karma....
I noticed that, after I totally rebuilt the S2 with new drives from a virgin image - and a day later my SP's came back. By themselves. Unannounced.

Was weird, and unexpected.

Chris.
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:55 AM   #483
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Ordered S3 on first day, arrived a few days later. We just bought a new house, so I arranged for a full comcast install (internet, tv, phone). The order taker we quite confused about the request for two cablecard, primarily because her system wasn't configured to put two cablecards on a single outlet (much less the additional digital cable box that we use on a different input). She eventually just put all of the information in some comments box. The day prior to the install, I called to confirm that the tech was going to bring TWO cablecards.

Tech arrived, had never seen the S3 and had only done one cablecard install previously. He did most of the other work first (internet, phone, digital boxes on other outlets) before turning to the S3. I described to him the situation, showed him the sheet that came with the Tivo for the installer, and then we got started.

He put in the first card, the info screen came up a few minutes later. He took down all the information and then wanted to put in the second card. I stopped him and got him to agree to call for activation before proceeding (simply b/c that's what the sheet said to do). He called for activation and the girl at the activation center confirmed things looked fine (i.e., it successfully paired, or whatever). The tech then repeated the process for the second card and it appeared to go just fine. After he was done, we did "check channels" and things looked fine, although we only checked a couple of channels. The tech wrapped up and left. Nice experience, no "can't touch that" stuff.

Later, I realized that the S3 was only receiving some of the channels that I was supposed to receive, even though the digital cable box that I have on another input was not having any such problem. I was missing a number of basic and extended channels and did not have ANY of my premium stations (HBO, SHO, etc.). The screen would just show grey, even after waiting for a few minutes. Very frustrating.

I restarted the TIVO and went through the re-set-up process. Same result.

The next day, I called Comcast support and they re-zapped the cards from the activation center (I was at work at the time). When I got home, I checked for reception and everything was working just fine -- great reception on all channels. All cable issues resolved, lots of stuff recordnig already!

On a side note, I also downloaded Tivo Desktop for Mac and thought I'd give it a try with the S3. I turned it on to share my iTunes and iPhoto with the Tivo. Tivo could see my computer, but when I drilled down to access the photo albums and songs, I ended up with an error (server not responding, network interruption, that sort of thing). Signal strength is just fine -- I'm using the USB wireless adapter. I can only assume that Tivo Desktop for Mac doesn't work with the S3 yet -- although, it just occurred to me, I might need to turn sharing on in iTunes and iPhoto directly as well (although I think it's already on...). I'll report back.

Anyone have success using Tivo Desktop for Mac with the S3 yet?
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:05 PM   #484
wdave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbswbs
Anyone have success using Tivo Desktop for Mac with the S3 yet?
Yes, works fine for me. I'm only sharing iTunes though, only mp3's seem to work (not AAC encoded songs), and if it matters my S3 is hard wired to my network.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:08 PM   #485
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Pringe Georges County, MD Comcast representing here.

I'll share my install tale.

Called local call center Friday 9/22 to schedule install... rep seemed a little confused about installing cablecards into a Tivo, but was OK with it.
She said install would be $17, BUT said that I could pick up the cablecards if I wanted to. (I wasn't expecting that from past dealings with local Comcast.)

I went to local walk-in office to turn in my STB and pick up cards... but they didn't have cablecards at the office so they scheduled the install for monday 9/25.
They were also slightly confused about installing cablecards into a tivo, but again.. were ok with it.

Monday 9/25 9am-1pm was my appointment.
But alas, no one showed up or called by 2pm, so I called the local 24hr call center... but the phone kept ringing and no one answered. -.-
I called 800-COMCAST and vented at the Florida call center lady... whopping $25 credit /cough.
She said WIP reported my tech running late... and apparently she tracked him down... he called to say he would be late shortly after I talked with her.

Tech shows up ~5:50pm with 2 cards.
Looks at Tivo and says he's never seen anything like it before.
Pops both cards in at the same time and we get <161-1 error>.
He calls for hits anyways.
Tried popping a card into my TV and still got 161-1 from TV... apparently the tech put the other card into my TV and it began pulling in channels during the scan.
So I moved that one into my Tivo and it began working in my Tivo.
The other card still gets 161-1 though and the tech had to leave.

So now I have one card working... pulling all of the digital and HD channels including the premium channels I subscribe to.
I was told to call tech support today to try to work out the other card (because they had to add another outlet on their end???).
I am thinking the 161-1 means the one card is just plain bad though... hope they will let me go to the office and swap cards.

In the end, I'm glad to have one card working.
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:26 PM   #486
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I have my cablecard install today, sometime between 2 and 6.

Wish me luck!
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:27 PM   #487
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
Clueless CSR. Call back and talk to someone else. If that doesn't work, ask to be transfered to your local dispatch or field office.

And if you get someone that spouts the "there's a memo" BS, have them send you a copy of the memo, since that will be helpful with you file a complaint with the FCC or local franchising authority.
Thanks for the reply! I'll be tackling this issue SOON! (hopefully in the next week or two anyway) If I do find the time to do it, I'll post my results. Appreciate it!
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Old 09-26-2006, 12:30 PM   #488
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shady
I have my cablecard install today, sometime between 2 and 6.

Wish me luck!
Shady: check out our setup guide: http://techdigs.net/content/view/46/42/#setup

Regards,

Greg
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:02 PM   #489
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregkeene
In the Oregon market, install free, CableCARDs free (up-front and monthly).
Well, isn't that special. I didn't know there was a monolithic "Oregon market". I myself have received much different information from the Comcast office on Nimbus Ave in Beaverton. Please notice the greater specificity of my information.

But reading your web site I learn that you're part of some "test market". There may be some information on your site about where in Oregon that "test market" is, but it's sure hard to find among all the rambling.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:08 PM   #490
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac3dd
Now I am a guy who actually does want PPV in addition to the TiVo S3 ... anybody else here done that? How did that work out? Did you just run a splitter to the separate cable box?

I don't need the PPV in HD, since it would be mainly for fights or other special events where I'm more concerned about the content than the picture quality. But I'd still want it in HD if it came at no additional cost.
All I did was use a splitter to send one coax to my Tivo and one to my Comcast cable box. The Tivo attaches to my currently standard def tv via yellow/red/white A/V cables and the cable box attaches via coax. All I need to do to get my on demand is switch inputs.

Eventually I plan on running my Tivo and cable box into my new receiver and then from the receiver into an HD televison, but it will be a month or so before I have that equipment.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:10 PM   #491
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Comcast CC aftermath: Overcharged :(

In San Jose, CA

I was just checking over the bill after switching from Comcast's HDDVR to S3, and noticed that my monthly went from ~104 (bundled of Digi Silver + internet + HDDVR) to ~118. Turns out the tech took the HDDVR, but they never took it off of my account, so $9.95 there. Plus they were charging 2X$6.95 for the two cable cards, under line item called "DIGI A/O". It was realtively easy to straighten out the HDDVR and the charges for the 1st $6.95. But they wouldn't take off the second $6.95 charge, claiming that it's a charge for a second device, and the cable card is the device, not the Tivo. Oh well, I'll just have to call back when they have the multi-stream cards available.
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:51 PM   #492
ac3dd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmedic
The CableCARD must come from your cable company. You can't purchase it elsewhere. The reason is the CableCARD is programmed with the cable company's encryption algorithm. In fact, if the cable company uses different encryption algorithms or keys in each market, then you can't just move from market to market without getting new CableCARDs.
The hardware of the card is standard. It would still be technically possible to buy your own cards, then take them in to the cable company to be programmed. Then if you move, do the same thing with the next cable company and the same cards.

Of course, the cable company could still charge you $100 or something ridiculous to program the cards, unless the law allowed third parties to do it (like what is commonly done with SIM cards and cell phones outside the US).
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:01 PM   #493
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Clinton, CT

Just wanted to add my data to the thread....

My S3 was ordered on Sunday and will be here on Friday if the UPS website estimate is correct. Called Comcast 1-800-COMCAST and asked for 2 more cablecards. I already have a cablecard in my TV and want to keep it for now. I did not mention Tivo. Reaction was..."No problem, they are $2.45 a month per card". I said the website says cablecards are free. He said, only the first one is free then next ones are $2.45 plus a truck roll per card. Could have had an appoinment tomorrow or next Tuesday, so next Tuesday it is. After the S3 gets here I may try to see if I can move the appointment in.

Will post an update after it gets installed and I do the happy dance when the Comcast SA DVR goes away.
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:02 PM   #494
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My (comcast) Cablecard install went relatively painless. I ignored the -4 errors (the tech on the phone actually told me to as well), he said they had been doing a bunch of the S3 ones, was really nice about the whole thing. Now we just have to watch the rest of the stuff on the comcast dvr and return it.
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:46 PM   #495
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It is fairly obvious that Comcast pricing and policy is different in various parts of the country and may even differ within one state. Here's my S3 install experience, so far: My install was scheduled for Sunday morning. Lesson One - Never schedule an install on a Sunday. The installer had never seen a S3, was not an experienced Cablecard installer and there was no one at the head end who could help. Adding to the fun was a language barrier between the installer and the head end. We ended up putting one Cablecard in the TV just to prove that the card was good (it was.) The installer promised to come back first thing next morning to finish the install. He never showed up.

In the ensuing conversation with Comcast I was told that the S3 could not be set up because their computer system could not accept multiple cablecards on one outlet. And that they had a few S3 purchasers who were having the same problem as I am having.

I called TiVo and they said that they had not gotten any information from Comcast regarding that.

I am now scheduled for a "repair" tomorrow afternoon. The technician is bringing an additional cable card - I have one installed in the TV, the other in the S3 but not initialized.

My sense is that I have to ask the technician to install each card on a separate outlet and ignore the fact that it is one box. Agree? Disagree? Suggestions?
Now I have scheduled a "repair" for tomorrow afternoon to try again to get the S3 configured and working.
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:09 PM   #496
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I had CableCards installed in my series 3 with no problem on Saturday 9/23. ComCast showed up in the time frame promised, installed them, called up the support center to register them, and within minutes I was receiving cable channels (although it took about 30 minutes for all the channels to work, as the installer had said). The installer knew exactly what to do, he said he had already installed CableCards for about 15 TiVos in the last week.

I think the CableCards are about $2.50 per month, and the install was $17. When I called up to schedule the appointment, the person I talked to said the CableCards would be only be free if I did not have a CableBox (which I wanted to keep to get PPV and OnDemaand).

I live in the Boston area (Natick, MA).
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Old 09-26-2006, 03:14 PM   #497
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin
Well, isn't that special. I didn't know there was a monolithic "Oregon market". I myself have received much different information from the Comcast office on Nimbus Ave in Beaverton. Please notice the greater specificity of my information.

But reading your web site I learn that you're part of some "test market". There may be some information on your site about where in Oregon that "test market" is, but it's sure hard to find among all the rambling.
According to Comcast, Oregon is a market or region. They're pricing should be the same through out Oregon - which is where we installed the S3.

Greg
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:06 PM   #498
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Norwell MA install

Comcast was here and installed two cards without incident. Very good job. It took them about half an hour with a call to get the cards on the account and a call to the ATS to get them authorized.

Steve

Also card prices were quoted as $2.75 month...
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:22 PM   #499
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I just had a successful install as well. 30 mins at the most.

I got home at around 1:30 for the 2 - 6 window, and he was waiting outside.

He hadn't done a TiVo install before, although he had heard about them, and he talked to someone on the radio that had done one last week (although that one had a bad card!)

Anyway, I double checked that the HD channels would be on the card, and he checked, and apparantly they hadn't authorized them, so he fixed that, read the instructions, called in the cards, tested the channels, and all went well

I'm just going through the rest of the install now

But so far, 1 happy camper
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:36 PM   #500
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Comcast SF install went just fine

We had our Comcast guy out on Friday 9/22. He had two cable cards in his shirt pocket.

Mine was the first Tivo S3 he had seen so he made a call to one of colleagues at the office who had been through several. We installed the first card (he had me do it) and the Tivo screen came up with the info he had to call to the office. We checked the channels and they worked OK.

We got an error message and he called the office to find out what that meant --they said ignore it.

Did the same with the second card.

But after the cards were installed the S3 would not switch from one tuner to the other nor get the range of channels we subscribe to. I re-read the instructions. YOU NEED TO RE-RUN GUIDED SETUP after the cards are in and tested.

Now the S3 works beautifully. No problems at all.

We got to ditch two Comcast boxes and a lot of cables. So the setup looks much cleaner and less cluttered.

I could not get the Tivo remote to do anything other than power up our Fujitsu 50" plasma monitor. It will not control the Bose System 12 sound system we use for audio.

Rich
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:38 PM   #501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonC24
I think the CableCards are about $2.50 per month, and the install was $17. When I called up to schedule the appointment, the person I talked to said the CableCards would be only be free if I did not have a CableBox (which I wanted to keep to get PPV and OnDemaand).

I live in the Boston area (Natick, MA).
Are they charging you for the cable box? If it's free, I can see why they'd want to charge for the cards so they're not letting you use a box AND the cards for free. But if it's not free, the fact that you're paying for the box should make it irrelevant for charging or not charging for the cards. And it would be silly of them to make you want to return the box, given the PPV capability.
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:38 PM   #502
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Angry Comcast - Chicago Long Wait for CableCards

I'm in Arlington Heights, IL (Chicago suburb). Today is September 26, Comcast says I can't get my CableCards until November 13. Two people at Comcast say I can't get the CableCards on my own from one of their payment/equipment exchange centers.

What's up with the long, long wait? Very frustrated!

Anyone else in Chicago having similar experience? Should I go to the payment center anyway and try to get CableCards?
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:53 PM   #503
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Wink tell Comblast you will switch for HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by fsponge
I'm in Arlington Heights, IL (Chicago suburb). Today is September 26, Comcast says I can't get my CableCards until November 13. Two people at Comcast say I can't get the CableCards on my own from one of their payment/equipment exchange centers.

What's up with the long, long wait? Very frustrated!

Anyone else in Chicago having similar experience? Should I go to the payment center anyway and try to get CableCards?
You should call Comcast and tell them that you find six weeks an unreasonable amount of time to wait for CableCards. Tell them you want to receive a High Definition signal in a timely manner and that you are considering switching to DirecTV for HD service due to their lackluster response. At the very least they should be able to get a free digital cable box for the six weeks you are waiting which you should be able to pick up at their local franchise office. I can assure you Comcast is not letting new installs wait six weeks. My guess is Comcast will "find" two CableCards for you very quickly, however.
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:05 PM   #504
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Burlingame CA

I had to wait 9 days for an appointment, but when the installer showed up, it took about 15 minutes and I was up and running. Funny the installer knew nothing about the Series 3. It was the first time he had heard about this product. So I spent a few minutes telling how great it was, and how happy I was to get rid of my Comcast Motorola HD DVR. He admitted that product still has "lots" of bugs.

Pricing $15.99 for the install
First card is free
Second card is $5/month

However, when he called in my cable card id's to activate them and deactivate my Comcast DVR, they also deactivated my regular digital cable box in my other room. So I had to call them back to get that re-activated, typical crappy comcast screwup.
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:39 PM   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fsponge
I'm in Arlington Heights, IL (Chicago suburb). Today is September 26, Comcast says I can't get my CableCards until November 13. Two people at Comcast say I can't get the CableCards on my own from one of their payment/equipment exchange centers.

What's up with the long, long wait? Very frustrated!

Anyone else in Chicago having similar experience? Should I go to the payment center anyway and try to get CableCards?
I went in, and picked up the cards. Just be really nice about it. I gave the puppy dog eyes when they said I could not pick them up and told them that I was told I could do so over the phone (no lie). I think is rare when someone is at their payment center and actually being polite and not b!tchy. That got me a long way.
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:48 PM   #506
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singletb
I went in, and picked up the cards. Just be really nice about it. I gave the puppy dog eyes when they said I could not pick them up and told them that I was told I could do so over the phone (no lie). I think is rare when someone is at their payment center and actually being polite and not b!tchy. That got me a long way.
What payment center did you go to? I've got a lot of time on my hands, I might just drive on over to wherever you went. Maybe we'll start a trend.

Thanks for the info!

Alex
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:14 PM   #507
robus
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Comcast did not totally admit defeat and today an installer returned to try and get the 2nd cablecard working after hearing from superiors that it should work. Apparently he was also told to call a particular (senior) CSR who would know how to work the necessary account setup magic to get it working.

Long story short: he plugged the same card we'd tried last week back into the TiVo - it said it was authorized right away and then he called into the CSR. She configured the account to authorized the digital channels for the second cablecard and voila - instant HD on the second cablecard.

So apparently it's all down to CSR expertise to get the 2nd cablecard going.

Robert.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:54 PM   #508
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fsponge
What payment center did you go to? I've got a lot of time on my hands, I might just drive on over to wherever you went. Maybe we'll start a trend.

Thanks for the info!

Alex
1255 W. North Ave. Right across the street from the Home Depot.
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Old 09-26-2006, 09:56 PM   #509
wolfson
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Comcast - Fort Myers Florida will NOT support Tivo

The guy came out and got both cards installed pretty fast. It appeared both were working, but it only one actually works. I did not realize this till after I had repeated the guided setup and went to record one show, and watch another. I called Comcast and got the Fort Myers, FL office. The rep I spoke with (Erica 2070) said under no circuimstances would they support a tivo, and they would have to bill me for a service call to come make it work. I explained to her that it was on the authorized list and she refused to be of assistance. I asked for a supervisor and she refused that as well. I asked her to verify the hostid, and the other numbers which she also said she could not do. Does anyone know of a comcast office that is helpfull in these matters?

UPDATE--
So I called back a second time, while legally recording the call and was told specifically that Comcast Fort Myers, FL will not support any non-tv device including Tivo's. They will not troubleshoot it over the phone and the will charge me to send out a tech. I tried not mentioning that it was a Tivo on the second call, but the first person I talked to has noted my account with a message not to help. I was told that I was not allowed to talk to a supervisor and that they were refusing to talk to me further, at which point they said they were terminating the call.

Last edited by wolfson : 09-26-2006 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Adding
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:01 PM   #510
wolfson
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Tivo Hung Up

After reading some other threads I called tivo like they said and was told someone could call my cable company on my behalf. I was put into a call queue for 38 minutes and at 11PM exactly a message came on saying "Tivo is now closed" and the call was dropped. Don't most companies drain their queue before dropping calls like that?
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