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Old 10-05-2006, 02:27 AM   #751
bwherry
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A quick followup with my first bill in hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwherry
...
She said: 2 Cable cards on one outlet would be free.
I asked if there were any one time or monthly fees.
She said: No one time or monthly fees they are free.
...
I told her I have DTV and she said there is another promotion for it at 39.99/month for the whole year if I can prove I have DTV.
...
I asked how much the install would be and she said:
the install fee is waived for both of the HD promotions comcast is running.
So I got my first bill today. No CC fees. No second outlet fee. flat 39.99 / month plus taxes. Comcast delivered what they promised.

awesome.
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:06 AM   #752
thotfulspot
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I just made an appointment to have the install done on Monday in Chicago. I was told I have to purchase the cards outright at $23.99 each and there will be no monthly fee.

Ron
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:11 PM   #753
Phantom Gremlin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thotfulspot
I just made an appointment to have the install done on Monday in Chicago. I was told I have to purchase the cards outright at $23.99 each and there will be no monthly fee.
That's a bargain. Comcast here charges $90 for unreturned cards.
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:33 PM   #754
Brainiac 5
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I finally (after a two week wait) got my CableCARDs "installed" today, but am having problems similar to others I've read about here. I get the basic channels, but nothing beyond that (I think I don't get anything that's encrypted).

Of course the installer left after giving me the familiar "it takes hours for the channels to come in." (Has that actually happened to anyone? I'd be interested to hear.) Since people have been discussing what the information on the cards' status screens means, I thought I'd see if anyone had any ideas what I should tell Comcast to do based on what mine say.

The cards are from Scientific Atlanta. The "CP Screen" for both cards is identical, and shows:
Scientific Atlanta CableCARD
CP Information
-----------
Auth Status:CP Auth Received
Prog Number:31
CCI byte: 0x00
ECM count:0
EMM count:0
Decryption Status:No ECMs detected
Powerkey status:Ready
EID :0xffffffff
MKS period :100 seconds
KSE count :0
Sometimes the "Decryption Status:" changes to "OK."

"CP Auth Received" sounds good to me, but I'm not sure what the other things mean (well, "Powerkey status:Ready" doesn't sound bad either). Can anyone determine anything based on this?

Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:58 PM   #755
BillShannon
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If you get some channels but not all, the problem is almost certainly a mistake in how they've
configured the cards at the head end. Good news is they should be able to fix that for you
without another visit.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:12 PM   #756
boblip11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainiac 5

The cards are from Scientific Atlanta. The "CP Screen" for both cards is identical, and shows:
Scientific Atlanta CableCARD
CP Information
-----------
Auth Status:CP Auth Received
Prog Number:31
CCI byte: 0x00
ECM count:0
EMM count:0
Decryption Status:No ECMs detected
Powerkey status:Ready
EID :0xffffffff
MKS period :100 seconds
KSE count :0
Sometimes the "Decryption Status:" changes to "OK."

"CP Auth Received" sounds good to me, but I'm not sure what the other things mean (well, "Powerkey status:Ready" doesn't sound bad either). Can anyone determine anything based on this?

Thanks!
Those values are almost exactly the same as mine. The only difference is my ECM count can vary throughout the day....currently it is 2253. I agree with the poster above that this appears to be a good card with bad information at the headend as to what channels you are allowed to recieve.

Good Luck

Last edited by boblip11 : 10-05-2006 at 06:13 PM. Reason: shorten quote
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:04 AM   #757
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For what it is worth, here is my experience.

I live in Mountain View CA.

I ordered my S3 last Thursday (1 week ago today) from Circuit City with a 10% discount. The S3 arrived the next day! I paid for 3-5 day shipping which was only a couple bucks cheaper than the cheapest shipping mothod.

I called Comcast to schedule the install. They said there was a slot open for Wednesday morning (6 days out) and that it would cost $15.99 for the install and $6.95/mo for the second card. I hung up and called again. The second rep said there was a slot open for Tuesday morning (5 days out) and that it would cost $15.99 for the install and $1.50/mo for the second card. I said lets do it!

On Tuesday a contractor shows up at around 12:00 for the 8:00 - 12:00 window. He puts in one card and then goes to "Test Channels". All we get is a pin wheel on a screen that says Acquireing Channel Information. So it doesn't get to the Test Channel screen. I ask if the card is activated. He says that it was activated before he came out. He doesn't call in to get it activated again because his phone is not getting a strong enough signal to work. So he installs the second card and the same thing. He says it can take up to four hours to get past this screen so I should wait. He leaves and says that he will have the activation signals sent to the cards again when he gets someplace where his phone will work.

After waiting an hour with no improvement, I call the number he left. The dispatcher who answers appeared to hang up as soon as I start to talk. Since I couldn't understand what they were saying (heavy accent and very distorted oversaturated signal coming from their phone) I called the Comcast 800 number. After 10 minutes of trying to reason with somebody who appeared to not be capable of rational thought, I finally convince them to transfer me to somebody that can help me with the cablecards. This next person says something about my account not being set up correctly. I assume they changed something about my account but I don't know what it was or if it was important. Then he sent out the activation signals again. I am now getting to the "No Channels Detected" screen on both cards so we are past the pinwheel screen. After a few minutes, CableCard 1 begins working for all channels but CableCard 2 just says "No Channels Detected". We can't get the second card to work so he says another tech will be back by 8:00 PM.

At 8:00 PM I call back and point out that I have been stuck in the house for 12 hours waiting for the tech and ask why he isn't here. I'm told my install is tagged as complete so nobody was going to come out. I say it isn't complete and lets get somebody out ASAP. He schedules anothe 8-12 appointment for the next morning. At 7:30 AM I call to confirm and they say that my install is tagged as complete so nobody was going to come out. Angrily I say it isn't complete, I think I might have a bad cable card, and I need another cablecard. They say that sombody will be there by 12. At 12 I call and they say my install is tagged as complete so nobody was going to come out. More angrily, I repeat that I need sombody to come out with another cablecard. They say somebody will be out by 8:00 PM. The same tech shows up around 7:00 PM but he didn't bring a cablecard. I bounce off of the walls and then ask why not. He said by the time he was told to come back to my house, he had already rolled so he didn't have a card for me. He swaps the cards in the slots, and verifies that the problem follows the card, so we are now both convinced it is a bad card. He said he would come back at the end of his next day (which was today).

At 10:30 this morning the tech calls and says he'll be over in 20 minutes. He swaps the bad card for a new one, calls in to activate it, 5 minutes later I have all channels on both cards.

I called TiVo and transferred my lifetime.

Comcast demonstrated how incompetent they are when it comes to installing cablecards. Their incompetence is costing them a lot of money in time spent per install and costing them customer respect.

I have started recording season passes. Hopefully I won't have any other issues with my S3. Good luck all and thanks for all of your posts.

Last edited by FlippedBit : 10-06-2006 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 10-06-2006, 04:35 AM   #758
sammydee
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While not quite related to Cablecards, I wanted to give my Comcast experience - San Jose.

I have two D*Tivos, but don't (yet) have an S3. Before taking the S3 plunge (times 2!?), I wanted to see how Comcast signal quality compares to DirecTV. I had recently switched from AT&T DSL to Comcast cable modem, but didn't have cable TV.

SO, I ordered cable TV service with a Comcast DVR....figure I can do head-to-head comparisons of cable vs. sat for a month or two, confirm for myself that I can't take the Comcast DVR - and only then shell out the big bucks for the S3. And if I decide to stay with DirecTV, then I'm only out a couple of months' cable bill.

Comcast came today and installed the cable TV and the Comcast DVR. Appointment took 15 minutes, he was right on time, and everything worked when he left. The DVR software is indeed a pile o crap. I've identified 3-4 bugs in just 4 hours of playing with it, and the human factors are basically nonexistent. Total crap compared to a TiVo.

But the main info for me - and that I wanted to note here - was about picture quality.

The HD pics on Comcast are, as you might imagine, quite lovely. Since I don't have HD service with DirecTV I can't compare them.

However I'm happy (and somewhat astonished) to report that the SD picture quality from Comcast is MUCH BETTER than DirecTV on every channel I can try. I've done A/B comparisons of freeze frames of the same show on the same channel from cable and sat, and in every case the cable picture is far superior. Tested with local channels (where I expected sat to lose) and national channels like Comedy Central and CNN...and cable won every single test. The extreme macroblocking and overcompression of the sat signals is extremely evident.

SO - for those like me considering the jump from D*Tivo to S3 - the cable world maybe isn't as bad as you remember. I'm frankly astonished at how bad DirecTV looks in an A/B comparison.

...Sam
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:15 AM   #759
kybluedevil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammydee
While not quite related to Cablecards, I wanted to give my Comcast experience - San Jose.

But the main info for me - and that I wanted to note here - was about picture quality.

However I'm happy (and somewhat astonished) to report that the SD picture quality from Comcast is MUCH BETTER than DirecTV on every channel I can try. I've done A/B comparisons of freeze frames of the same show on the same channel from cable and sat, and in every case the cable picture is far superior. Tested with local channels (where I expected sat to lose) and national channels like Comedy Central and CNN...and cable won every single test. The extreme macroblocking and overcompression of the sat signals is extremely evident.

SO - for those like me considering the jump from D*Tivo to S3 - the cable world maybe isn't as bad as you remember. I'm frankly astonished at how bad DirecTV looks in an A/B comparison.

...Sam
Sam,

I switched to comcast in April of this year, after 11 years with D*tv, including HD using an H10250. I have had the same experience as you with PQ. The improvement in PQ with comcast over D*tv, both HD and SD, has been amazing. I have been fortunate to have not had any bad service call experiences (haven't needed any since initial hookup in April). So, as you say, comcast is not all bad.

Steve
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Old 10-06-2006, 10:55 AM   #760
wbswbs
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Comcast Pricing Woes

Downingtown, PA 19335

Arg. I'm all set up and everything is working fine. I get my first bill and it's 17.80 more than I was told it would be. Here's the set up.

TV in bedroom with standard digital cable box.
TV in basement with standard digital cable box.
TV in living room with (a) standard digital cable box on one input and (b) Tivo Series 3 with 2 cable cards on a different in put.

When I ordered the cable service, I was told that I get one cable box free, pay $8.90 for the one in the bedroom and another $8.90 for the one in the basement, and that the cable cards were free (no additional $8.90 charges).

Bill comes and it turns out they're charging me for four of the five "devices" even though three of them (one box, two cablecards) are on a single tv. So, that's 8.90 x 4 instead of 8.90 x 2.

Is this normal? Is anyone else pay a MONTHLY service cards for the service to the cable cards???

Help!
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:14 AM   #761
hiker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbswbs
Downingtown, PA 19335

Arg. I'm all set up and everything is working fine. I get my first bill and it's 17.80 more than I was told it would be. Here's the set up.

TV in bedroom with standard digital cable box.
TV in basement with standard digital cable box.
TV in living room with (a) standard digital cable box on one input and (b) Tivo Series 3 with 2 cable cards on a different in put.

When I ordered the cable service, I was told that I get one cable box free, pay $8.90 for the one in the bedroom and another $8.90 for the one in the basement, and that the cable cards were free (no additional $8.90 charges).

Bill comes and it turns out they're charging me for four of the five "devices" even though three of them (one box, two cablecards) are on a single tv. So, that's 8.90 x 4 instead of 8.90 x 2.

Is this normal? Is anyone else pay a MONTHLY service cards for the service to the cable cards???

Help!
Go down to your local office and argue your case. That's what I did when I discovered, by looking online at recent billing activity, that they were charging me $6.95/mo for each of the 2 cablecards. At local office, the lady there found a new internal memo stating that for the S3, the first cablecard is free and the charge for the second is $1.50/mo. They adjusted my billing as I can see from another check of recent activity but I haven't got a statement in the mail this month yet. YMMV in your locality.
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:19 AM   #762
wbswbs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker
At local office, the lady there found a new internal memo stating that for the S3, the fisrt cablecard is free and the charge for the second is $1.50/mo. They adjusted my billing as I can see from another check of recent activity but I haven't got a statement in the mail this month yet. YMMV in your locality.
Thanks for the quick response. Are you talking about a "rental" charge for the cards or a charge for the monthly cable service that supports the cards? Right now they giving me both cards for FREE (i.e., no monthly charge for the physical cards) but ARE charging me for the cable service to each card (i.e., the signal itself, which they are treating as additional outlets). Thanks
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:29 AM   #763
hiker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbswbs
Thanks for the quick response. Are you talking about a "rental" charge for the cards or a charge for the monthly cable service that supports the cards? Right now they giving me both cards for FREE (i.e., no monthly charge for the physical cards) but ARE charging me for the cable service to each card (i.e., the signal itself, which they are treating as additional outlets). Thanks
The terminology they use is "additional digital outlet". I believe they do this because the FCC prohibits them from charging directly for the cablecards. So my charges showed up as 2 additional outlets, $6.95/mo each. But you should not have an additional outlet charge for your primary TV. And if your primary TV has the S3, the first cablecard should be free and second cablecard should have a small charge. I don't know about additional outlets in other rooms because I don't have any. Take a copy of the cablecard FAQ here with you to the office.
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:30 AM   #764
wackymann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbswbs
Downingtown, PA 19335

Arg. I'm all set up and everything is working fine. I get my first bill and it's 17.80 more than I was told it would be. Here's the set up.

TV in bedroom with standard digital cable box.
TV in basement with standard digital cable box.
TV in living room with (a) standard digital cable box on one input and (b) Tivo Series 3 with 2 cable cards on a different in put.

When I ordered the cable service, I was told that I get one cable box free, pay $8.90 for the one in the bedroom and another $8.90 for the one in the basement, and that the cable cards were free (no additional $8.90 charges).

Bill comes and it turns out they're charging me for four of the five "devices" even though three of them (one box, two cablecards) are on a single tv. So, that's 8.90 x 4 instead of 8.90 x 2.

Is this normal? Is anyone else pay a MONTHLY service cards for the service to the cable cards???

Help!
In my area, they have separate charges for the boxes, the remotes, and something called "digital access". This digital access is what they charge for each unit to allow it to view your digital subscription content. Sooo... this $2.75 is what I get charged for each cable card (which in turn allows it to see all of my digital channels). It is $2.75 for each. Digital subscriptions include the first box/remote/digital access fees, so I'm pretty sure the first $2.75 would be waived if I had no other cable boxes on my account.

FYI: remotes cost me $.25/month, and digital boxes cost $4.50/month (in addition to the $2.75). So, each extra box I get from them costs me $7.50/month. Their DVR service is an extra $9.95/month. I'm not sure if that is for each box or not. I've never rented more than one DVR from them.
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:49 PM   #765
rodneyw1
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I have two series3's for a total of 4 digitalcards. This is my latest "recent activity" from Comcast in the SF Bay Area. I don't understand any of it. I'm off to my local comcast this am. Not only are the outlet charges not what they told me, but the install charges are wrong too.

10-05-06 10-05-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/05 TO 11/07 $ -1.65
10-05-06 10-05-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/05 TO 11/07 $ -1.65
10-05-06 10-05-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/05 TO 11/07 $ 1.65
10-05-06 10-05-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 10/05 TO 11/07 $ 7.64
10-04-06 10-04-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 10/04 TO 11/07 $ 1.69
10-04-06 10-04-06 INSTALL ADD'L OUTLET $ 18.99
10-04-06 10-04-06 INSTALL - ADD'L SERVICES $ 15.99
10-04-06 10-04-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 10/04 TO 11/07 $ 7.86
10-03-06 10-03-06 TIVO DIGITAL ACCESS 09/27 TO 11/07 $ 2.08
10-03-06 10-03-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 09/27 TO 11/07 $ -9.62
09-27-06 09-27-06 DIGITAL ADDL OUTLET 09/27 TO 11/07 $ 9.62
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:51 PM   #766
cgould
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SF Bay comcast Tivo S3 install/monthly costs

I got my Tivo S3 CableCard install on 9/27 finally, and turned in my 6412 this week...
I got the final bill just now, it's pretty confusing/disappointing.
Can anyone else confirm similar for this area?

1. The cable cards ARE free, as they said. The truck roll cost $15.99, as they said.
(This is for SF Bay Area/peninsula franchise)
BUT:

They insist on still charging $6.95 "addnl digital outlet" fee for the 2nd card, even though it's in the same device, and I have Digital Classic (that covers only the first card.) This seems pervasive on online reports so far, something about the billing/service order system being incapable of considering 2 cards in one device (and if you tell them to remove the charge, sometimes it disables the 2nd card.)
Will try to fight this but unknown if can get it fixed soon.

They also charged $13.99 "reconnect addnl digital outlet" install fee, I guess for the 2nd card, or maybe because I still had the 6412? I'll be fighting this...

Wierder but: there is also a $1.50 "Tivo Digital Access" monthly fee. I have no idea WTF this is. Maybe they are confused and this is the coming charge to have Tivo software on the 6412? Or they're trying to stick it to S3 customers?
I'll try to fight this/get clarity on what it is, but...

so far this means w/ $6.95 AO fee and 1.50 tivo fee, it's $8.45/mo to have the S3, which compares poorly to 9.95 6412 DVR fee
(but at least I have twice the storage, better picture, and no remote lag / hang crap.)
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Old 10-06-2006, 01:23 PM   #767
hiker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgould
I got my Tivo S3 CableCard install on 9/27 finally, and turned in my 6412 this week...
I got the final bill just now, it's pretty confusing/disappointing.
Can anyone else confirm similar for this area?

1. The cable cards ARE free, as they said. The truck roll cost $15.99, as they said.
(This is for SF Bay Area/peninsula franchise)
BUT:

They insist on still charging $6.95 "addnl digital outlet" fee for the 2nd card, even though it's in the same device, and I have Digital Classic (that covers only the first card.) This seems pervasive on online reports so far, something about the billing/service order system being incapable of considering 2 cards in one device (and if you tell them to remove the charge, sometimes it disables the 2nd card.)
Will try to fight this but unknown if can get it fixed soon.

They also charged $13.99 "reconnect addnl digital outlet" install fee, I guess for the 2nd card, or maybe because I still had the 6412? I'll be fighting this...

Wierder but: there is also a $1.50 "Tivo Digital Access" monthly fee. I have no idea WTF this is. Maybe they are confused and this is the coming charge to have Tivo software on the 6412? Or they're trying to stick it to S3 customers?
I'll try to fight this/get clarity on what it is, but...

so far this means w/ $6.95 AO fee and 1.50 tivo fee, it's $8.45/mo to have the S3, which compares poorly to 9.95 6412 DVR fee
(but at least I have twice the storage, better picture, and no remote lag / hang crap.)
Go to your local office and ask to see the memo they should have regarding the $1.50/mo charge for 2 S3 cablecards on primary TV. They should not charge $6.95 unless you have additional TVs with digital access. If they don't have the memo, have them call the Novato office.
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Old 10-06-2006, 01:52 PM   #768
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I have a fourth Comcast installation appointment scheduled for today, but the technician has not arrived yet. Comcast in Santa Clara, CA, is totally incompetent and TiVo needs to do something about it. TiVo needs to provide the Bay Area Comcast installers and Comcast operators/dispatchers with concrete steps for enabling the TiVo Series 3 CableCards on their service. I really don't want to return my box, but Comcast and TiVo are leaving me no choice. I have a feeling this affects all TiVo users in the South Bay Area, just minutes from TiVo headquarters. This is totally ridiculous and I think TiVo is in big trouble.

Summary: I have had my TiVo box for 2 weeks. I have made over 10 calls to Comcast customer support and have even spoken to a supervisor. I have had three Comcast installers in my home, each spending three hours trying to get the CableCards to work. After being on hold at TiVo for a total of over two hours, I have an open case number with a TiVo customer support supervisor (in which TiVo maintains the problem is all Comcast's problem). I have called the Comcast executive office (which put me on hold for 30 minutes and then simply forwarded my call to the Santa Clara office). I have filed an FCC complaint. There is nothing more I can do.

Comcast customer support spewed the following garbage:

* TiVo released its box 6 months early without telling Comcast and thus Comcast is not prepared to support it.

* Comcast does not have CableCards that are compatible with a TiVo series 3 device.

* Installations are hit or miss. (That is, there is a chance it will work, but apparently I am not one of the lucky ones.)

Comcast technicians spewed the following garbage:

* There is a problem with my TiVo. (However, according to the TiVo customer support supervisor, there is nothing wrong with my box.)

* There is a problem with my TV. (This is impossible because my TV is just a dumb HDTV monitor without a tuner or speakers!)

Last edited by RoyalCrap : 10-06-2006 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:16 PM   #769
rodneyw1
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgould
I got my Tivo S3 CableCard install on 9/27 finally, and turned in my 6412 this week...
I got the final bill just now, it's pretty confusing/disappointing.
Can anyone else confirm similar for this area?

1. The cable cards ARE free, as they said. The truck roll cost $15.99, as they said.
(This is for SF Bay Area/peninsula franchise)
BUT:

They insist on still charging $6.95 "addnl digital outlet" fee for the 2nd card, even though it's in the same device, and I have Digital Classic (that covers only the first card.) This seems pervasive on online reports so far, something about the billing/service order system being incapable of considering 2 cards in one device (and if you tell them to remove the charge, sometimes it disables the 2nd card.)
Will try to fight this but unknown if can get it fixed soon.

They also charged $13.99 "reconnect addnl digital outlet" install fee, I guess for the 2nd card, or maybe because I still had the 6412? I'll be fighting this...

Wierder but: there is also a $1.50 "Tivo Digital Access" monthly fee. I have no idea WTF this is. Maybe they are confused and this is the coming charge to have Tivo software on the 6412? Or they're trying to stick it to S3 customers?
I'll try to fight this/get clarity on what it is, but...

so far this means w/ $6.95 AO fee and 1.50 tivo fee, it's $8.45/mo to have the S3, which compares poorly to 9.95 6412 DVR fee
(but at least I have twice the storage, better picture, and no remote lag / hang crap.)
Just returned from local comcast office. Showed her they were still charging additional outlet fee on both of my series3's. She still says that is not right, and repeated: 1st card free 2nd 1.50 3rd 6.95 4th 1.50. She would look into it and see why that was not being reflected correctly on my bill.

Also, she said the TiVo digital access was the only way they could enter it in the system to initialize the cards, but that was just for installation and would remove them as I was already paying digital access in my cable package. I told her I had read from others than when some charges were removed they lost their digital access and I wanted to make sure that would not happen. She assured me it would not.

Also she would remove the 18.99 additional outlet installation charge. On my second TiVo they charged me the 18.99 plus standard 15.99.

I live in the SF Bay Area (east bay). Benicia, small town (30,000) . Local comcast says I am the only customer in Benicia so far with TiVo Series3 and they have a learning curve. I told her Comcast has a learning curve all across America!!
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:16 PM   #770
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Originally Posted by FlippedBit
For what it is worth, here is my experience.

He swaps the bad card for a new one, calls in to activate it, 5 minutes later I have all channels on both cards.

I spoke too soon. I am actually not getting all of the channels on the second card. I am getting the analog and the HD channels but I am not getting the standard digital channels! I have the dreaded "MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY" auth state on my second card. From what I have read, this means the card was not initialized correctly on the head end. So another tech visit on Sunday.

TiVo, Comcast, get your collective stuff together! This is rediculous! TiVo puts up a cryptic message like MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY and they don't document what it means and nobody I've talked to at Comcast knows what it means. Don't buy an S3 until the installers increase their success probability. I'm looking forward to my fourth tech visit in less than a week and have had two 4 hour time slots where the tech never showed up. I feel confined to house arrest waiting for Comcast day after day.
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:23 PM   #771
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When I ordered the cable service, I was told that I get one cable box free, pay $8.90 for the one in the bedroom and another $8.90 for the one in the basement, and that the cable cards were free (no additional $8.90 charges).
That's not my understanding. Each "additional outlet" bears an additional outlet charge. So your first cable box or CableCard is free, and then there is an extra charge for each additional. The only arguable element, as far as I know, is whether the two CableCards necessary for S3 count as one additional outlet (which makes most sense to me) or two additional outlets (which perhaps makes more sense to Comcast).
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:38 PM   #772
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Originally Posted by FlippedBit
TiVo, Comcast, get your collective stuff together! This is rediculous! TiVo puts up a cryptic message like MISSING_PROGRAM_REKEY and they don't document what it means and nobody I've talked to at Comcast knows what it means. Don't buy an S3 until the installers increase their success probability. I'm looking forward to my fourth tech visit in less than a week and have had two 4 hour time slots where the tech never showed up. I feel confined to house arrest waiting for Comcast day after day.
It's not TiVo's fault - the information on those screens comes directly from the card. This is why it says "on behalf of your cable provider" at the top of the screen.

Chris.
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:04 PM   #773
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Originally Posted by Bodshal
It's not TiVo's fault - the information on those screens comes directly from the card. This is why it says "on behalf of your cable provider" at the top of the screen.

Chris.
The fact that it comes directly from the card does not help Comcast. None of the technicians, dispatchers, or customer support people have any idea what this information means. Do the technicians see this information when installing CableCards on a normal TV? My guess is they do not.
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:10 PM   #774
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The fact that it comes directly from the card does not help Comcast. None of the technicians, dispatchers, or customer support people have any idea what this information means. Do the technicians see this information when installing CableCards on a normal TV? My guess is they do not.
Since the card is programmed for Comcast specifically, whose fault is it if their software doesn't help them? Sounds like lack of training - by Comcast of Comcast employees/contractors - and, FWIW, my Comcast installer knew what he was looking at on these screens - or, at least, he recognised specific parts of it, probably based on experience. One screen in particular he said "on a TV I did yesterday, it said this..." while we were waiting for the auth to come through. He said it's the same screens, it only varies by the firmware on the card.

Someone, somewhere, probably decided that these things are too technical for ordinary people and "shouldn't matter" if people would only do what they're supposed to since it'll "just work" anyway. (where people = anyone, Comcast employees included)

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Old 10-06-2006, 03:11 PM   #775
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The fact that it comes directly from the card does not help Comcast. None of the technicians, dispatchers, or customer support people have any idea what this information means. Do the technicians see this information when installing CableCards on a normal TV? My guess is they do not.
Just about all that info shows up on my Mits display when a CC is inserted, or can be found through a menu.

Comcast needs to educate their techs.
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:11 PM   #776
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The fact that it comes directly from the card does not help Comcast. None of the technicians, dispatchers, or customer support people have any idea what this information means. Do the technicians see this information when installing CableCards on a normal TV? My guess is they do not.
You guess wrong...My Sharp Aquos LCD show exactly the same screens (letter for letter) when you look at the status of the Cablecard.

While I agree with your sentiment....this problem is owned by Comcast and the cable card manufacturer. Clearly the techs do not have enough training to read the screen...and they need some dedicated people that they can call who can check the provisioning at the headend.

I do wonder whether Tivo could write some sort of diagnostic that would spell out in english for the user and the tech exactly what is stopping the display of a channel....but the owner of this is the cable provider
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Old 10-06-2006, 03:24 PM   #777
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Originally Posted by sammydee
However I'm happy (and somewhat astonished) to report that the SD picture quality from Comcast is MUCH BETTER than DirecTV on every channel I can try. I've done A/B comparisons of freeze frames of the same show on the same channel from cable and sat, and in every case the cable picture is far superior. Tested with local channels (where I expected sat to lose) and national channels like Comedy Central and CNN...and cable won every single test. The extreme macroblocking and overcompression of the sat signals is extremely evident.
Lucky you, Comcast digital crap makes D* look great to me.

Also doing freeze frame comparisons in not a valid way of doing this. I find the most objectionable part of the Comcast signal is the way it breaks up on scene changes and mostion. It breaks up into pixel noise, not macroblocks which is really weird. If you do freeze frame the receiver has a chance to catch up several frames and skip over the motion noise.
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Old 10-06-2006, 04:33 PM   #778
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My problem was finally solved! For those of you in the South Bay Area having trouble with your Tivo Series 3 CableCard installation, you should specifically request technician #1201 (Jim). He was very patient and even came by for the second time again today to help the actual technician who was scheduled to do my installation. Without Jim's help, I don't think I ever would've gotten up and running. I was stuck in a never-ending service loop with a new service technician every time trying to figure out the problem from scratch.

Anyway, Jim realized that the two previous cards he had brought over were not keyed into Comcast's system properly and thus never would've worked. He brought five of the new green (Motorola firmware version 4.21) cards to my house for the installation today. He started from scratch using the latest CableCard installation instructions that I had printed out from the TiVo web site. He did not use the instructions for installers that come in the box because those are not quite as clear.

I should mention last night I totally reset the TiVo box, choosing "the clear and reset everything" option, just in case there was some kind of data corruption on the TiVo box itself. I also downloaded the guide for the basic channels I can receive without the decryption.

The Comcast technician who was actually assigned to my case might have made a critical observation that made all of the difference. He noted that in addition to sending an "initialization" and a "hit" signal to the cards that the dispatcher should also send a "refresh" to the cards. All three signals might be required to get the box to work. I think order should be "initialization" -> "refresh" -> "hit".

Anyway, Jim followed the instructions exactly as documented.

Important point: After you insert a CableCard, the CableCard Decoders screen immediately shows the card has been inserted. However, it takes the TiVo about 3-5 minutes to actually read the card, at which point the gray box pops up with the "cable provider" information, including the unitaddress, hostid, and data fields. Work with your technician to make sure that Comcast does not send the initialization, refresh, and hit signals until this gray box pops up! Otherwise, the TiVo box will not process the signals. The only time the gray box does not pop up is if the TiVo has already read the card previously; for example, if it was inserted on a prior occasion and then removed.

If the dispatcher sends all three signals properly, the 161-4 error message pops up on the screen. This indicates that the TiVo box cannot communicate with the CableCard temporarily because it is being reset.

Next, when you test channels, you should see a black screen with the channel numbers. It takes a few minutes for the black screen to be replaced with the actual channels themselves.

After you've tested the channels, including premium channels and HD channels (you can enter the channel numbers directly using the number keys), you can repeat the whole process for the second CableCard.

Note: Do NOT run guided setup or scan for channels while your technician is there. This process wastes 30 minutes of time and will get you nowhere. If the CableCards are working, you will be able to use the Test Channels option on the CableCard decoder screens to view all of the channels. If the channels do not show up here, they are not coming through.

I hope this helps others who are having problems.
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:02 PM   #779
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Originally Posted by btwyx
Haven't you had TiVo before? They all work like that (at least all of mine have). This is noted in one of the other whinging threads, possibly the S3 bug list, or the what feature do you want thread.

I agree, its silly. Some people argue for this though.
I think it's fine. If you want to browse what's on and you don't want to go to live tv, go to Find Programs and browse by time.


Rich

Last edited by richburr : 10-06-2006 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 10-06-2006, 07:05 PM   #780
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Originally Posted by ah30k
This would depend on which version of the DAC (headend gear that control authorizations) your local headend is using. Older software did not require pairing of the CableCARD to the host and could be set up with just the serial number. This is why some people can get them handed out over the counter and some require a truck-roll. Newer DAC software required the DAC operator (who's phone number is triple-super-duper-top-secret) to manually add the pairing data (CC SN, Host # and hash-data #). The truck-roll tech has the DAC operator phone number.
I live in Portland OR and I believe this is the case in my area. Initially some of the host/data info was misentered, and my cards did not work until that was corrected.


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