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Old 11-18-2006, 03:29 PM   #1231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakelambert
My advice to everyone here is perseverance. If you don't like the answer you get, keep calling until you get one you like. Sooner or later someone will either be smart enough, or stupid enough, to give you the answer you're looking for.
Don't think you've won the pricing battle yet, wait until you see your first bill.
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:40 PM   #1232
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Not Really Quick, but Painless CC Install - Richmond, VA

Hi,

My S3 arrived Thursday but I was so exhausted when I got home from work I waited and set it up with just my basic cable on Friday nite. That went great.

Saturday morning around 9:30 a Comcast tech arrived. His introduction, "Hi, are you Barry? I'm here to install 2 Cable Cards...I hate Cable Cards but let's go..."

Installed the first card and nothing happened, I cleared the screen to exit and re-entered the Cable Card Screen and then I saw the needed info. Tech called to activate the card. After being on hold for 30 minutes, the tech at the office hit the card. I was able to get only my digital channels, no HDTV. They hit the card again and then BOOM the HD version of ESPN came blaring thru.

Repeated the process for Card #2 and, like the first, had to hit the card twice to see the HD channels. But, after about 75 minutes (most of that spent waiting on the phone for someone at Comcast to pick up), I was fully installed: 2 CCs, full HD and 5.1 sound on the channels that offered it.

All the hype is true. HD really is a huge difference, especially sports and nature shoes. (Spent 30 minutes watching Discovery HD just because the picture was breathtaking).

My only minor concern will come this Spring when I order the MLB Extra Innings Pay Per View package. The tech who did the install said that once the MLB package was available, they should be able to send the signal to both cards and I'll get the games fine. "But call as soon as you see it advertised because cable cards can be picky and it might take some time to correct the problem. The sooner you try to order, the sooner it'll get fixed if there's a problem."

I don't think my Comcast yet offers an HD version of PBS or of the new CW channel. All other local channels are available in HD.

The dual tuner functionality is going to stop a lot of arguing in the house. Now, we can tape both "Cold Case" and "Family Guy" on Sunday nites. This function alone makes the new TiVo worth it.

I am pleased and surprised that things went so smoothly. Tech said since the visit wasn't for a downgrade in service, they should waive the roll out fee, so the visit was basically free. Might be a $5.95 charge per month on my bill for the HD service but, the tech said "You won't have the set-top box fee which was $5, so it basically replaces that fee on your bill."

We'll see when the bill comes, but for now, everything works and I couldn't be happier.

Thanks specifically to Ed for his prep instructions, and everyone else who responded to my questions. All the advice was appreciated,
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:33 PM   #1233
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I just got a call from Comcast. Seems they now need all the Cablecard pairing information. Guess my system is going to start using copy protection now.
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Old 11-18-2006, 10:51 PM   #1234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worachj
Don't think you've won the pricing battle yet, wait until you see your first bill.

You must have missed this part of my post:

"So, I've gone from $48 and $5.99/month to $30 and no monthly fee. Maybe I'll try to get one of those installation fees waived. Or maybe I'll just save my energy to fight with them when they screw up the first bill. It's inevitable."
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:49 PM   #1235
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I rec'd my first statement since going from extended basic to Digital Classic cable the other day. I was charged for the second card ($1.50), HD ($5) twice, and an additional digital outlet ($6.95), even though I don't have any of their boxes (and never have). I was also charged a pro-rated rate for the above for the partial month of service.

A quick chat via web with their Customer Service credited all the charges, but I plan to keep a close eye on my bill for the next few months just to make sure. I'm thankful it's easy to save the chat logs for future reference, something I can't do if I talk to someone on the telephone.

Now I just need to see what happens when I plug in the CableCards once my RMA S3 arrives. *crosses fingers and toes*
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:55 AM   #1236
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doraemon,

While you may get the credit, I was told that three times, and never did. So I canceled the cablecard and I just said screw it to Comcast. I can get the locals in HD on that TV and that's all I really cared for. Hope you do get the credit, but their charges do seem to vary area by area.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:30 PM   #1237
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I hope I get the credit, too. I have the chat logs saved, though, in case I have to offer "proof" of what I was told. Most frustrating how stuff varies so much from location to location.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:41 PM   #1238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doraemon
I hope I get the credit, too. I have the chat logs saved, though, in case I have to offer "proof" of what I was told. Most frustrating how stuff varies so much from location to location.
We think a lot the same. I too had my chat logs and sent them to both the Comcast billing office and my local franchise authority. In the end they did me no good. I do hope you'll have better luck, than I.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:28 PM   #1239
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Oy, that doesn't sound good. Did you email the logs to the billing office or send it via snail mail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HomieG
We think a lot the same. I too had my chat logs and sent them to both the Comcast billing office and my local franchise authority. In the end they did me no good. I do hope you'll have better luck, than I.
jakelambert, chat is available here.
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:23 AM   #1240
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HD w/ basic cable

Hi Everyone,

I think I've finally got the wife in agreement that it's time to upgrade to HD. We're looking at buying the Samsung LN-S4095D. The TV will probably happen sometime in February 2007. In the meantime, we're gonna do the VIP deal to have a lifetime'ed S3. We live in Denver.

We prefer Tivo because it allows us to watch less TV. Currently, we subscribe to basic cable. And I mean the true 'basic' as in $14/month, which is mainly just local channels.

So if we go HD, will I be required to change my monthly subscription package? I realize there is a $5/month HD fee. I'm ok with that. What I'd like to prevent is being required to upgrade to a ~$50/month digital package to support cable cards.

Also, I don't really understand how local HD broadcasts work. Does the HDTV's built in tuner just tune them in? Do I need an antenna? If I just want local channels, will I even need basic cable anymore? Could I sever my ties to Comcast?

I'm sorry if this has been covered before. I tried searching, but I couldn't see any posts that seemed to answer my questions on going HD with a basic package.

Thanks!!!!

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Old 11-20-2006, 02:19 AM   #1241
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Unless you can get the channels you want off the air, you still need to have Comcast service. I have $15 limited basic and $1.50 for two CableCards. No other fees. The $5 fee is for renting the Comcast HD set top box, which you don't need with the S3.
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Old 11-20-2006, 06:47 AM   #1242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixseven
Hi Everyone,

I think I've finally got the wife in agreement that it's time to upgrade to HD. We're looking at buying the Samsung LN-S4095D. The TV will probably happen sometime in February 2007. In the meantime, we're gonna do the VIP deal to have a lifetime'ed S3. We live in Denver.

We prefer Tivo because it allows us to watch less TV. Currently, we subscribe to basic cable. And I mean the true 'basic' as in $14/month, which is mainly just local channels.

So if we go HD, will I be required to change my monthly subscription package? I realize there is a $5/month HD fee. I'm ok with that. What I'd like to prevent is being required to upgrade to a ~$50/month digital package to support cable cards.

Also, I don't really understand how local HD broadcasts work. Does the HDTV's built in tuner just tune them in? Do I need an antenna? If I just want local channels, will I even need basic cable anymore? Could I sever my ties to Comcast?

I'm sorry if this has been covered before. I tried searching, but I couldn't see any posts that seemed to answer my questions on going HD with a basic package.
There is a lot to learn when going HDTV - I know, I just started learning it a couple of weeks ago (and probably still have some stuff wrong).

My HDTV tunes in the local broadcasts with just rabbit ears and many other people have successes with anything from rabbit ears to in-attic antennas. It depends on where you live and what stations you want to receive. Your TV will find channels such as 9-1 or 9.1 depending on how it maps the channels. It may even give you the name of the station which is embedded in the digital stream.

It's quite possible that you can cancel the cable subscription completely - the Series 3 has an antenna input and when you run guided setup, just tell it you're using antenna only. There are a lot of web sites dedicated to antennas for HDTV and you should find some information there. Wait until you get your TV, try a set of rabbit ears if you have them lying around, and see what you get.

The other possibility is that you're already receiving the local HD stations on your current subscription. You won't know for sure that until you have an HDTV tuner. Many cable companies include the locals unencrypted.

.../Ed
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:53 AM   #1243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doraemon
Oy, that doesn't sound good. Did you email the logs to the billing office or send it via snail mail?


jakelambert, chat is available here.

To the billing office via email. And they actually did read them because their summary was exact. They even admitted that their CSR's didn't know what they were talking about. One of the chats even said the card was a good way to get a 2nd TV on the digital service without the additional cost of a 2nd outlet and STB. It was odd, but in a weird sense even though I didn't get what I was originally told, the fact that there was some finality to it, I decided it was not what I really needed. In my case I wanted the CableCARD for a TV in our bedroom. It was going to cost me $11 a month to have that ($5 for the card, $5.99 for the additional outlet). Just not worth it for a few extra channels. Typically we catch the local news, and perhaps SNL on that TV. So now it gets the analog tier, the HD locals, a few networks on the digital tier that are in the clear, and all the OnDemand channels in the clear (about 40 of them). We've even started an OnDemand program on our DVR, then gone and watched it on the 2nd TV.

They told me three times that there was no charge, and that they had issued a credit. Never showed up. And I kept deducting it from each payment. The person in the billing department at least saw that I had been misled and she did credit me for all the cablecard and outlet charges, and added another $10 credit I guess just to be nice.

Anyways, I truly do hope in the end you get the lower or no charge. Just relating my experience. Please let us know how this all turns out for you.
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:18 AM   #1244
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3C & ewilts,

Thanks for your help! I have had a major debate with the wife on the value of the VIP deal. From a monthly cash flow standpoint, it sounds like my lowest-cost HD programming option with comcast is limited basic + $1.50 for cable cards. This keeps my total programming cost below $20/month.

If I went for the Comcast HD DVR, it sounds like I would need a digital package and be charged a monthly rental/fee for the DVR. This would put me in the $50/month range for programming. To be thorough in my investigation, is it possible to subscribe to limited basis and use a comcast HD DVR? What would my monthly cost be?

I really appreciate everyone's help. I realize I could call comcast for this information, but based on reading this thread, it sounds like you don't always sound like you get the right answers when calling in to the CSRs.

-67
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:10 AM   #1245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomieG
They told me three times that there was no charge, and that they had issued a credit. Never showed up. And I kept deducting it from each payment. The person in the billing department at least saw that I had been misled and she did credit me for all the cablecard and outlet charges, and added another $10 credit I guess just to be nice.

Anyways, I truly do hope in the end you get the lower or no charge. Just relating my experience. Please let us know how this all turns out for you.
I just checked my account status online and I've been credited for the incorrect HD and add'l outlet fees. So for now, it looks good, though I'll definitely be checking regularly for quite a few months more.

Now I'm just waiting for my RMA S3 to arrive so I can "return to my regular programming."
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:14 AM   #1246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doraemon
I just checked my account status online and I've been credited for the incorrect HD and add'l outlet fees. So for now, it looks good, though I'll definitely be checking regularly for quite a few months more.

Now I'm just waiting for my RMA S3 to arrive so I can "return to my regular programming."
Can I get you to call them on my behalf?
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:51 PM   #1247
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Yup, took me a while, but I finally got Comcast to fix my bill (or at least credit off the $14.95 for "Digital Additional Package") they were charging every month. I finally ended up with a billing specialist.

Kind of funny though:

Rep: "Where did you see that cable cards for your Tivo are only $1.50?"

Me: "On the first page of my October bill. $1.50 per card, first card free with digital package".

Rep: (Looking at copy of bill) "Wow. So it is. Right there in black and white. No one on this side of the building ever heard of this before. It doesn't say Tivo Series 3 though."

Me: "No, it says that Comcast will charge $1.50 a month for the second CableCARD for customers who require two CableCARDs for customer-owned digital video recorders. Since the Tivo Series 3 is the only DVR that supports more than one cable card, it's a pretty safe bet this applies to me."

Rep: "You got a point there. Sure would've been easier if they just said Tivo. I've removed the other charges and will get this over to I/S to request that they fix your bill for next month".
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:57 PM   #1248
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Ooo.. will have to take a closer look at my next bill, then. I'd heard hints that that had made it to the Atlanta area, and that would be the proof.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:06 PM   #1249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfh3
Sure would've been easier if they just said Tivo.
Its listed on my bill (as a line item) as "TiVo":
Quote:
11/18 TiVo Digital Access 1.50 - 12/17
The previous one had the same blurb about "DVR"s I had to read to a CSR to get them to implement it.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:22 PM   #1250
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To be thorough in my investigation, is it possible to subscribe to limited basis and use a comcast HD DVR? What would my monthly cost be?
Not in my area. Look at my signature.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:30 PM   #1251
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Not in my area. Look at my signature.
Why do you think it costs $70? Are you adding in the price of thie digital package as well?
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #1252
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$70 is the minimum monthly charge to get a Comcast DVR: $15 limited basic, $35 expanded basic, $10 digital classic, $10 DVR.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:35 PM   #1253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixseven
Thanks for your help! I have had a major debate with the wife on the value of the VIP deal. From a monthly cash flow standpoint, it sounds like my lowest-cost HD programming option with comcast is limited basic + $1.50 for cable cards. This keeps my total programming cost below $20/month.
How much those CableCards can cost varies. I've seen reports to both free to $15 each and everything in between. I was quoted first one free and $4.95 for the second one. I'll see what I end up with after I get my first bill. Comcast's web site says they should be free for only a single outlet: http://www.comcast.com/customers/faq...s.ashx?ID=2651

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixseven
If I went for the Comcast HD DVR, it sounds like I would need a digital package and be charged a monthly rental/fee for the DVR. This would put me in the $50/month range for programming. To be thorough in my investigation, is it possible to subscribe to limited basis and use a comcast HD DVR? What would my monthly cost be?

I really appreciate everyone's help. I realize I could call comcast for this information, but based on reading this thread, it sounds like you don't always sound like you get the right answers when calling in to the CSRs.
With this option, TiVo is totally out of the picture. Your best bet really is to call Comcast for this.

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Old 11-20-2006, 01:41 PM   #1254
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$70 is the minimum monthly charge to get a Comcast DVR: $15 limited basic, $35 expanded basic, $10 digital classic, $10 DVR.
I'm not paying that much to use a Comcast DVR either, I pay that much to use a TiVo. If I'm going to have cable, I'd have that level of service anyway.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:50 PM   #1255
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I'm not paying that much to use a Comcast DVR either, I pay that much to use a TiVo. If I'm going to have cable, I'd have that level of service anyway.
$70 is what Comcast told me, and that has been confirmed by many people in avsforum. How much are you paying?
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:09 PM   #1256
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Originally Posted by c3
$70 is what Comcast told me, and that has been confirmed by many people in avsforum. How much are you paying?
Like I said, that's the price I'd pay for cable service anyway. The DVR (if I wanted such a thing) would be $10 extra.
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:19 PM   #1257
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$70 is what Comcast told me, and that has been confirmed by many people in avsforum. How much are you paying?
When I had my Comcast DVR, I had to have Limited Basic, Expanded Basic and Digital Classic for the privilege of using their DVR. The total monthly bill, including taxes and franchise fees, etc, came to $75.80. The thing was, all I wanted was the ability to record the local HD channels since the only channels you get with Digital Classic up here are ESPN-HD and Discovery-HD, and Discovery-HD is in the clear anyways.

I'm now paying about $20 a month. I supplement Comcast service with a Dish account for $111 a month that gives me about 30+ HD channels, including backups of the local HD stations.

I'm happy, both the S3 and the Dish 622 are easy to use, and neither has given me any trouble.

I should note that the only analog/SD channels I watch are SciFi, USA and FX which are all available on Dish, and I wasn't about to pay $25 something to get them from Comcast as they are in Expanded Basic. In fact, trying to drop Expanded Basic is what prompted me to get the S3. Consequently, I dropped Digital Classic as well, if Comcast hadn't been so inflexible, and let me just drop Expanded Basic while keeping the DVR and Digital Classic, I'd probably still be using their DVR, and paying for Digital Classic---their loss.

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Old 11-20-2006, 03:11 PM   #1258
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Big Grin Comcast and the S3 are in the clear!

My S3 arrived Thursday night and I spent the evening getting it set up and ready to go. Comcast arrived Friday morning. I decided to go with their "triple play" promotion - Broadband (which I've had for the past 6 years anyway); digital phone; and digital cable for $99. It was the expanded basic with HD. (They have no additional charge for HD or the cards). My household is addicted to several of the SciFi channels offerings, so we decided to pay $9 more/month and get the digital classic (total $108). I've had the Americas Choice 150 from Dish for the past few years, and this triple play deal offered a savings for me of about $35 a month for approx. the same channels.

The technician spent the most amount of time replacing my current modem with a "telephony modem" to allow both voice and internet. He installed the CCs into the TiVo and had the CSR from comcast initialize them. I went through the routine of setting them up (thanks for all your help on this) while the tech was working on the internet portion. I had to reset and do the guided setup twice, and after some trial and error - finally got both cards to read. It took about an hour, I'd say. But then only the basic cable channels were being recieved. The Tech had the office "hit" them again, and after about 10 more minutes - there it all was in glorious HD!

I've been receiving all of the local channels OTA, but have confidence that more of the cable channels will soon be making the transition to High Def and wanted to have everything in place for them.

So by noon on Friday everything was up and running with the old TiVo installed on the bedroom TV with a Set-top Box attached to it.

I've had satellite (both C-band and Digital) for about 12 years now, and wondered if I'd miss the variety available on Satellite. But Cable, at least Comcast, has improved their offerings over the past decade and I'm happy with it. I haven't received my first bill yet - so there still may be some sticker shock - but hopefully not. The tech was there for over 3 hours and stayed until he was sure that everything was working correctly.

All-in-all not a bad experience, and Kudos to comcast for sticking to it and getting it right the first time. Installation of the cards and internet/modem came to $35.00-which I found more than fair.

The S3 is working flawlessly. Now I'm anxious for the Multi-Room / networking to be installed on the S3 - both my bedroom TV and my computer "see" the S3, but neither can read them. I also cannot access my photos or music files from my computer on the S3 - something I enjoyed on the S2. Any ideas when this will be available??

Both cards worked perfectly first time (I was kind of worried after reading most of this thread) but no worries - they worked perfectly. Love my S3!!
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:39 PM   #1259
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The S3 is working flawlessly. Now I'm anxious for the Multi-Room / networking to be installed on the S3 - both my bedroom TV and my computer "see" the S3, but neither can read them. I also cannot access my photos or music files from my computer on the S3 - something I enjoyed on the S2. Any ideas when this will be available??
Congratulations!

Music and photos should be working now. I don't remember if you have to enable applications on the TiVo "Music ..." screen, but there should be nothing else to do as long as they're on the same subnet. MRV, as you say, will hopefully be along later.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:36 PM   #1260
doraemon
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by HomieG
Can I get you to call them on my behalf?
Sure, I only need your address, your full name, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number.

This thread alone highlights how fragmented Comcast's network is when it comes to pricing for plans and service. My experience with them has been decidedly hit-or-miss when it comes to customer service, but I've had much better luck since I started using their chat feature.
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