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Old 10-17-2006, 05:04 PM   #931
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You might also want to try complaining to your franchising authority, this is supposed to make them think more clearly.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:22 PM   #932
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shady
I've just got off the phone with Comcast about my bill. I'm really nervous now. I actually got through to someone straight away, however the whole process took 40 minutes!!!!!

I was querying the $1.50 charge for "TiVo Digital Access".
This, apparantly was the charge for the second cablecard. Apparantly, the Comcast's definition of free (as per FAQ) is different to everyone elses.

The second query was the additional "Digital Addl Outlet" at $6.95.
At first he told me that if he disabled it, then my 2nd cablecard would not work. I wasn't satisfied with this, and questioned him why I should pay for a 2nd outlet when I only have 1 TV .... you know the rest.

Anyway, after what seemed like an age on hold while he talked to "an expert" he came back and said he'd removed the charge, and the warning he got was an error in the system and that everything would be okay.

I asked specifically "Are you 100% sure you haven't disabled the service to either of my cablecards?" and of course he told me that my cablecards would not be affected.

I really really really hope I'm not posting again in this thread when I get home from work :|
When they got my second cable card working (after three scheduled visits spread over eight days), everything looked great on the TiVo. But the next day, I found that the Series2 DVD recorder I have attached to a STB generated blank screens for the recordings I'd asked for. After some testing, I determined that the installation of the second card had resulted in Comcast deactivating my STB.

I called Comcast and they told me that they could activate my STB, but it would inactivate my second cable card. They said I'd have to pay $6.95/month to get the cable cards, for which I'm paying $1.50/month, and the STB active. I said my plan provides a free STB, which they checked and agreed to. But their system forced them to charge for the cable cards and the STB. They said they'd escalate the issue to management and would have to put the $6.95 charge in to get everything working agian. They said I'd get a call as to what the resolution was. All is working well, the extra $6.95 for digital access showed up on my latest bill, but, of course, nobody called me. Net. I'm saving $9.95-$1.50 = $8.45 on my Comcast bill by replacing the Motorola 6412 with the Series3.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:36 PM   #933
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Originally Posted by retired_guy
They said I'd have to pay $6.95/month to get the cable cards, for which I'm paying $1.50/month, and the STB active. I said my plan provides a free STB, which they checked and agreed to.
Comcast is correct. Without S3, your STB is included as a part of your service. If you add S3, it's $6.95 for an additional digital outlet (with one CableCard), and $1.50 for the second CableCard ("TiVo special"). If you return the STB, they'll take out the $6.95 additional outlet charge.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:43 PM   #934
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retired_guy
When they got my second cable card working (after three scheduled visits spread over eight days), everything looked great on the TiVo. But the next day, I found that the Series2 DVD recorder I have attached to a STB generated blank screens for the recordings I'd asked for. After some testing, I determined that the installation of the second card had resulted in Comcast deactivating my STB.

I called Comcast and they told me that they could activate my STB, but it would inactivate my second cable card. They said I'd have to pay $6.95/month to get the cable cards, for which I'm paying $1.50/month, and the STB active. I said my plan provides a free STB, which they checked and agreed to. But their system forced them to charge for the cable cards and the STB. They said they'd escalate the issue to management and would have to put the $6.95 charge in to get everything working agian. They said I'd get a call as to what the resolution was. All is working well, the extra $6.95 for digital access showed up on my latest bill, but, of course, nobody called me. Nry. I'm saving $9.95-$1.50 = $8.45 on my Comcast bill by replacing the Motorola 6412 with the Series3.
Comcast told me the same thing the other day. In order to have another box besides my S3 TiVo with 2 cablecards, it would cost $6.95 + whatever the normal box/service is. When I initially set up service there was no mention of this fee, but all the reps and supervisors that I have spoken to since then have said that there is no way around the fee. They did agree to credit me the $6.95 monthly fee for a year since that's what I was initially quoted.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:44 PM   #935
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Originally Posted by Omnius
I was trying to get my bill cleared up and have failed so far. I'm waiting for a call back from a supervisor. Comcast will NOT budge on their charges. They want $6.95 each per card, and a $5 HD fee each per card. So, that is $23.95 PER MONTH to use the TiVo that I OWN, compared to $9.95 a month to use THEIR DVR.

I have had it. If they don't make it right soon, I am going to cancel every single Comcast service I have (which is a lot).

Anybody here know for a FACT that they are not being charged an additional outlet for each card, and are not paying a $5 HD fee per card? If so, would you mind PMing me your contact information so I can provide it to the Comcast rep as an example of how the account is supposed to be set up?

EDIT: I forgot to mention, this is after being told by multiple people at Comcast that there would be NO CHARGE for both cable cards when I initially called about getting them.
In Everett, WA (north of Seattle) I just received my latest statement yesterday. It shows the addition of two CableCARDs (I picked them up myself at their Redmond, WA office and then installed them myself), but there are no additional charges on my account that I did not have before the CableCARD installation.

I haven't checked to see if the STB I had as part of my digital package still works. I disconnected it from the living room when I got the Series 3, but I did have plans to move it to my bedroom and connect it to another Series 2 I own.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:48 PM   #936
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Originally Posted by c3
Comcast is correct. Without S3, your STB is included as a part of your service.
So why does their FAQ says that a cable box is free?

"Comcast is happy to provide you with a Digital Cable box at no additional charge for your primary cable outlet.*"

Not only is it free, they're happy that its free.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:58 PM   #937
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Originally Posted by btwyx
So why does their FAQ says that a cable box is free?

"Comcast is happy to provide you with a Digital Cable box at no additional charge for your primary cable outlet.*"

Not only is it free, they're happy that its free.
If the STB is the primary outlet, then TiVo becomes an additional outlet with $6.95 outlet fee.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:01 PM   #938
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You might also want to try complaining to your franchising authority, this is supposed to make them think more clearly.
I'm a member of my Franchise Authority. It has no effect. Comcast is too big and frankly ignores Franchise Authorities. It will only get worse if any of the proposed state or federal changes to state-wide or national franchise agreements are passed.
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:50 AM   #939
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And that's because, in our society, we overwhelmingly put pro-business officials in office. We talk a good game, wanting things to be consumer-focused, but that's all it is, just talk. If people really wanted such consumer-focus, we'd still have a regulated telephone industry, cable services and fees would be completely regulated, etc. We want as close to a free market as we can get, because we know how well that pads our retirement accounts, which we're far more concerned about than whether or not Fred down-the-block has to pay a little more to watch his NFL games.
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:46 AM   #940
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And that's because, in our society, we overwhelmingly put pro-business officials in office. We talk a good game, wanting things to be consumer-focused, but that's all it is, just talk. If people really wanted such consumer-focus, we'd still have a regulated telephone industry, cable services and fees would be completely regulated, etc. We want as close to a free market as we can get, because we know how well that pads our retirement accounts, which we're far more concerned about than whether or not Fred down-the-block has to pay a little more to watch his NFL games.
Can't agree with you there. In some cases deregulation has resulted in lowered costs to the consumer. Frankly, the telephone industry costs are cheaper than h3ll now. There are other associated problems, but cost to the consumer is not one of them. Todays world is a global economy and having everything regulated is not the answer. It cannot work any longer. Has nothing to do with your or my investments. Bottom line is that people want things cheap.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:55 AM   #941
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I wouldn't consider that a disagreement -- no question that in some cases deregulation has resulted in lowered costs to the consumer. Indeed, that's how the concept is sold to the general public, and it is more true than not. The issue here though is dictating how those lower costs are to be charged for. In essence, which customers get to pay a little more versus which customers get to pay a little less. Telling a cable company that they have to charge a certain way, for certain things, isn't going to pass muster.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:45 AM   #942
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Are the cards unit specific--must I call comcast to install them in a replacement Tivo unit?
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:54 AM   #943
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No CableCards Comcast NJ

Got my HD3 on Tuesday and called 1-800-COMCAST to schedule an appointment (central NJ) and was told that the don't have CableCards and don't know when they are going to get them. This morning I went to the Comcast office (East Windsor, NJ) and was told the have been out of CableCards for "a couple of weeks" and didn't have any idea when they would receive some. I was also told that when they got the cards I would have to schedule an appointment and couldn't install them myself.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:56 AM   #944
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammick
Are the cards unit specific--must I call comcast to install them in a replacement Tivo unit?
In most cases yes... there have been some reports of some systems that dont require pairing. You can plug them in and try but I expect that you will need to have the cableco re-pair them to the new box. They may take the numbers from you over the phone or they may require a service call. I would follow the tivo installation instructions except do both (but one at at time) and then call cableco with the numbers.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:16 AM   #945
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Originally Posted by rvt100
Got my HD3 on Tuesday and called 1-800-COMCAST to schedule an appointment (central NJ) and was told that the don't have CableCards and don't know when they are going to get them. This morning I went to the Comcast office (East Windsor, NJ) and was told the have been out of CableCards for "a couple of weeks" and didn't have any idea when they would receive some. I was also told that when they got the cards I would have to schedule an appointment and couldn't install them myself.
Call Comcast's corporate office in Philadelphia and complain. Folks here have done so and have reported good results.
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:08 PM   #946
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My install was last Saturday (10/14) the install went fine. The install didn't exactly follow what was on the installer sheet (THe TiVo didn't quite respond the way the sheet said it would) so it caused some confusion for me and the installer but he'd done a few before (4 that week alone) and after hitting each card once and waiting for them fully initialize they were working. Interestingly although I have 2 cards I only saw one 161-4 error. So after everything was working I took the POS Moto 3412 box (aka st-st-st-stutter central) back to the comcast office and exchanged for a standard box. I have 2 moto cards with 4.21 on both

For those that are interested in the billing situation here's how my bill appears to have come out: (I am using comcast's recent activity feature on the website to see what I am being charged)

I am being charged $1.50 per card ($3.00)
The one time install charge ($15.99)
Then a change of service charge (probably for the return of the DVR $1.99)
They also credited me for the return of the DVR (DVR+HDTV)

So it would appear because I have digital service that includes a cable box I get a (standard) digital box for free and that the HDTV fee applies ONLY to the HD cable box NOT HD service itself, which appears to be the case as 4 days later HD is working fine on the TiVo. It would also appear the cablecards do not cause an additional outlet charge either.

The rep at the cable office said the same thing to me when I returned the DVR. He said that my package includes a standard box and that having the box would not generate additional charges (ie it would not count as an additional outlet) and that not having it wouldn't save me any money so I figured my roommate could enjoy digital cable too He also said the HDTV charge was "tied to the box" and since it was bundled on my bill with the DVR (and has been refunded) I wouldn't have to pay that charge regardless of what the TiVo was getting from the cards.

All told I save about $6 a month on my cable bill and have a TiVo! Not a bad situation IMHO
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Old 10-18-2006, 08:42 PM   #947
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All told I save about $6 a month on my cable bill and have a TiVo! Not a bad situation IMHO
Cool! In about 10 years the Tivo will have paid for itself

-Tom
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:07 PM   #948
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Ok, got my two S3 boxes last week and had the cable guy come out to install the 4 cable cards last Sat. This was close to the first one in the area, and the service tech said that just a few days prior there had been an internal session on how to install the S3 Tivos. The rev level of all of the cards was 4.05.

After close to 2 1/2 hours and the support of three other folks 'back at the office', only one of the four cards was fully working. That one was getting all of the extended HD channels, while the other 3 were only getting the 'local' channels in HD. All other channels were ok, but I don't have any premium channels and couldn't check those. The state of the good card was 'Subscribed', while the other 3 were 'CA Disabled'. The tech raised the white flag and a supervisor was scheduled to come out Monday morning to try and finish the install. Note that the 161-4 error was never received.

Monday morning the supervisor called, got some verifying information, spent some time insuring everything was set up ok back at the office, and then came out to the house (at about 9:30 am, which was nice). Apparently the services were not 'layered' correctly (something about my existing high-speed internet was layered first and should have been last, whatever that means). We pulled all of the cards and reinstalled based on the Tivo 'instruction to installers' sheet. (What a concept; follow the instructions. ) Got the 161-4 error on the first card, and after a few minutes all of the channels were correct. Did the same with the other three cards with the same results, and in about 1/2 hour everything was running.

This may have been stated earlier in the thread, but the paperwork showed that there was only 1 host ID per S3 unit, while there is in fact a separate ID for each card. That may have been a problem, too. Also, as indicated elsewhere, the state apparently doesn't go to 'Subscribed' until you actually go to the 'Test Channels' selection and access a channel that is in your subscription.

All in all, things didn't go too badly for a 'bleeding edge' installation.
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:34 AM   #949
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Comcast all over the place with pricing...

I chatted online with Comcast 3 weeks ago in Baltimore, and was quoted $5 month HD access, $5 charge one-time for Cable card, and a $17 install fee.

Today I was setting up a new install and was told the CCard cost $66.95 (if I wanted to buy it) or I could pay $4.95 a month, in addition to the installation fee and the monthly HD service fee. I referred to my previous discussion 3 weeks ago, that I had implemented (but the technician of course showed up without a CC, only a STB which I specifically stated I did not want).

It seems from most the Comcast CC discussions on this board that there is NONE or minmal charge for the Cable Card itself, NO monthly fee, and an installation fee for the CC, and a monthly fee for the HD service.

Has anyone heard of renting the CC or purchasing it outright like this.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:09 AM   #950
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I have a total of four Comcast digital devices in my home. Two digital boxes (HD) on other TV's and the two cable cards that are in the S3. I'm in Bay Village Ohio - Comcast, recently sold out to Time Warner (but still getting Comcast labeled invoices)

My recent invoice after the install showed no charge for the cable card install, and and 3 charges of $5.99 per month for all the additional digital receivers after the first one that is part of the digital services package.

Does this sound right? I have no way of knowing, as these are the most aggravating people in the world to talk to! Somehow they are always right. I wish I could always be right.
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:07 PM   #951
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frustration with s3 and comcast in chicago relieved by phone tech

I spent 4.5 hours with two comcast techs (3rd party I think) that were relatively unfamiliar with the proces. They took the card out of my tv, put it in the tivo, and it worked... I insisted that they had to call and update comcast records because it was in a new host, but they took most of the channels working (not premium) as being a sign all was good. Secondary card did not work, after 4 diff cards were tried. Eventually they went home, defeated, and I called comcast tech support.

...

Ask to speak to someone that specializes in cable cards. I called after hours, and they told me someone would get back to me. An hour later or so, someone that actually knew what was up called, that had been dealing with S3s for weeks now (he said). He went through and verified all the numbers, made the changes. excellent. I'd recommend just sending the cable guys home if they can't get it working right away, and make the phone call to comcast yourself.
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:12 PM   #952
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Originally Posted by mdreuben
I have a total of four Comcast digital devices in my home. Two digital boxes (HD) on other TV's and the two cable cards that are in the S3. I'm in Bay Village Ohio - Comcast, recently sold out to Time Warner (but still getting Comcast labeled invoices)

My recent invoice after the install showed no charge for the cable card install, and and 3 charges of $5.99 per month for all the additional digital receivers after the first one that is part of the digital services package.

Does this sound right? I have no way of knowing, as these are the most aggravating people in the world to talk to! Somehow they are always right. I wish I could always be right.
That sounds right - other than the free install....shhh...

There s/b a monthly charge for each device - it doesn't matter to Comcast whether it's a STB or a cable card, or a analog box. There is an extra charge for a DVR as that's in addition to the digital box.

You results may vary - and apparently they do from reading the posts here. But that's how it has been explained to me.

As far as installation - some Comcast offices hand out cards, others will only provide them with a truck roll accompanied with an "installation charge." The "installation" (other than sticking the cards in your S3) basically consists of the installer calling customer service and reading numbers. The installers have no equipment that allows them to test the card or troubleshoot it. If it doesn't work (not always obvious before they leave) the only option is to initiate another truck roll and replace it.

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Old 10-20-2006, 05:57 AM   #953
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An update on my Washington DC install experience:

I just received my first bill after the successful TiVo installation earlier this month (everything continues to work fine).

I was charged $20.95 for the install, $10 for the two cable cards, and $6.95 for an additional digital outlet.

I called Comcast about the last charge, since I had not been told about it by the customer service agent whom I spoke to when I set up the installation. The new Comcast agent at first had some trouble understanding that I was inserting two cards into one device. He then claimed that, if he removed that charge, I would stop receiving channel information for the digital channels.

I wasn't willing to dispute the point further. I am disappointed to receive different information from different agents.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:10 AM   #954
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Thanks for this thread!

This is my Comcast experience in Lower Merion, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.

Sunday - I called 1-800-COMCAST because I had read it, rather than the local office. The person seemed very polite and knowledgable, even about the TiVo 3. She said I could go to the local Comcast office and pick 2 cards up, no problem.

Tuesday - I walk into the local Comcast office and ask to pick up two cablecards for my new TiVo Series 3. I am politely informed that I can't do that and that 1-800-Comcast is wrong. I stand there and schedule an appointment for Thursday between 9 and Noon. While I am there I ask if many of these boxes have been installed. They say no, but they pull out an info sheet from Comcast, with a TiVo sheet attached and assure me they all about them.

Thursday - I get everything ready for the Comcast visit. I pull systems, remove the ancient Comcast HDTV converter - which essentially never worked - make space in the rack and hook up the Series 3 beginning at about 8:45. About 9:30 there is a rap at the door and it's the installer. I ask how many Cablecards he brought with him... 3. Uh-oh. Anyway he looks at things a minute and then goes outside to climb the utility pole outside our house. Since we already have Digital Cable and Cable Modem services, I wonder what he could possibly need to climb a pole for. Well he doesn't tell me so I may never know.

He comes back into the house and has a conversation with somebody on his Nextel phone about Red cards and Green cards. It seems that he had taken "all the green cards on the shelf, 3"... hmm. (Could Comcast actually be testing these things.) Then he screws around with the connections a bit... cuts a couple of my existing pieces of coax into bits and makes a new cable and then we're ready for the Cablecards.

Cablecard1 is inserted, and recognized very quickly - I was expecting a 3-minute wait, but it seemed much faster than that. He calls his office, gives the number and get the 161-4 error. He has them push it again. Then he inserts the second card and go through the same process, including the 161-4 and the repush. And tada! It all works.

Before the cable guy leaves, he shows me the paper that he has from Comcast and TiVo. This is his first install of these boxes. He is happy (up to this point he was pretty abrupt in his responses) and so was I.

And the cableguy goes away. Everything works.

Now for activation.

I call the TiVo activation number and (again thanks to the forums here) I ask about my Series 1 lifetime subscription. Because I bought the Lifetime Subscription in December 2000, I am eligible for the one-time upgrade to a new box. I thought about that years ago in the Series 2 days, but there didn't seem to be enough benefit to the Series 2 to use the "once in forever" upgrade. Now with the price of the new plans, there most certainly is. I guess I'll will this one to my kids someday.

The picture is great, and the format switching is worderful. I have a 4:3 Sony XBR which switches automatically from full screen to wide-screen when it sees a hi-def signal. That never worked before and we always had to swich the aspect ratios manually, which nobody else in the household could do. Now it's truly automatic, so the wife actually watch HD. Now I have to get a new optical audio cable to get 5.1 sound out of the box... a weekend project.

So, up to this point at least, everything has gone extremely well and I am pleased after reading all the horror stories that it did.

Thanks for posting all the priors. The problems others encountered helped me immensely.

George Graves
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:34 PM   #955
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It's Comcastic!

From everything I have read on this thread, it sounds like everyone is getting the true "Comcastic!" experience. I am not looking forward to getting CableCards from Comcast for my S3.
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:43 PM   #956
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From everything I have read on this thread, it sounds like everyone is getting the true "Comcastic!" experience. I am not looking forward to getting CableCards from Comcast for my S3.
I would think that this forum is where most of us go when we have problems - therefore the reports of installs are going to be skewed towards the bad experiences.

Other than a delay in receiving cable cards, my experience was a 10 minute visit from a Comcast contractor and a perfect ending. I'm loving my (slightly expensive) TiVo experience
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:48 AM   #957
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From everything I have read on this thread, it sounds like everyone is getting the true "Comcastic!" experience. I am not looking forward to getting CableCards from Comcast for my S3.
I received excellent service from Comcast. They went above and beyond, came out several times to try out new CableCards, followed the TiVo directions to the letter, did their own research to try to help. Comcast did everything that I could reasonable expect them to do, yet the S3 still didn't work reliably.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:30 AM   #958
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker
I received excellent service from Comcast. They went above and beyond, came out several times to try out new CableCards, followed the TiVo directions to the letter, did their own research to try to help. Comcast did everything that I could reasonable expect them to do, yet the S3 still didn't work reliably.
Then TiVo should take it back for a refund/exchange, I would think. Especially if some of Comcast's "research" was with TiVo trying to get it to work.

Frankly, though, I suspect the box is just fine. And if that's the case, this is not so much evidence of Comcast's excellent service but of them sucking horribly. If that's the case, that is.
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Old 10-23-2006, 01:49 PM   #959
yizzung
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 41
It didn't work. And then it did...

Thought I would add my experience on top of the pile here... I set up my S3 last week with Comcast. They showed up with 2 cable cards (6 hours late, but that's another story) and shoved them both at the same time. The guy had never done an install but had "heard of some issues". Few minutes go by and nothing happens after he has the main office "hit" the cards. The young lady on the phone says that it can take up to 48 hours for the "hit" to register. Not what I wanted to hear and I couldn't find any other reference of this in these boards. (Plus, I'm impatient.)

After about four hours, one of the tuners/cards started to work. The other card only got basic cable and some HD (no premium). I called back to Comcast to see what they recommended. The girl on the phone hit the cards again. Nothing new. She told me that it was not true that they needed 48 hours and recommended that I set up an appointment to replace the faulty cable card. I had to fly out of town for work so I could not do this yet. I checked again the following morning before my flight and the "bad" card still did not work.

When I got home last night (five days later) both cable cards worked. After doing absolutle nothing, the other card finally woke up somehow and began working.
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:57 PM   #960
rvt100
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 9
No cable cards in NJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregor
Call Comcast's corporate office in Philadelphia and complain. Folks here have done so and have reported good results.
I called Comcast corporate in Philadelphia on the 17th and while getting responsive, courteous and even returned phone calls I still can't get an answer as to when cards will become available.

Are these the same cards that are used to power-up TVs? Anyone else experiencing the "yes we have no bannas" response?
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