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Old 01-03-2009, 03:24 PM   #1
jbkendrick
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Comcast refusing to support TiVo with cable cards

I have spent the last week trying to get a multistream card for my new TiVo HD XL. After several hours on the phone with Comcast call takers and supervisors, and waiting around at home for techs to show up for the last two days, and each time the tech shows up with single stream cards that don't work, I am getting quite frustrated.

Comcast, even their supervisors, are playing dumb acting like they don't know what a multstream card is, and only agreeing to send a tech out after I site the FCC regulation. The techs say when they arrive that they can't get the cards, and the single stream cards they have in stock are mostly damaged. They also state that there is nothing on the work order that indicates a multistream is needed, even though the supervisors say they put it in the order.

I'm about ready to return my TiVo and cancel service, and would warn others not to go with TiVo as it seems the major carriers are refusing to support it.

Any help that can be offered would be appreciated. I would like to get my TiVo working if possible. John
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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They can install two SCards in your Tivo and it should work exactly the same as one MCard. If they don't want to install an MCard, then I'd go with the SCards if they have them available.
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:29 PM   #3
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Comcast supports cablecards in new england - and mcards at that ... Had no problem with installation, nor did my friends. So, maybe one should consider getting Tivo ...
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jbkendrick View Post
I'm about ready to return my TiVo and cancel service, and would warn others not to go with TiVo as it seems the major carriers are refusing to support it.

Any help that can be offered would be appreciated. I would like to get my TiVo working if possible. John
OMG that's too funny!

DON'T BUY A TIVO! (but can you pretty please help me with mine?)
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Old 01-03-2009, 03:47 PM   #5
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OMG that's too funny!

DON'T BUY A TIVO! (but can you pretty please help me with mine?)
Comcast supports cablecards in New Jersey.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:03 PM   #6
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I'm about ready to return my TiVo and cancel service, and would warn others not to go with TiVo as it seems the major carriers are refusing to support it.
O-key. Nice touch with the bold. Are we supposed to all start going "Oh my gosh! John's going to leave Tivo! It's the end of the world!"

Comcast in western Washington state supports Tivo just fine. They even let me self-install the M-Card. I just had to go to their office to pick it up.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:04 PM   #7
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I live in the bay area and all i had to do was go to an actual comcast place and ask for the card. They gave us an Mcard. The comcast CS people that you get when you call are usually horrible, i mean its as if they know nothing about the service they are hired to provide.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:05 PM   #9
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I watched as the CSR entered an order for an M-Card to be installed into my TiVo next weekend. I'll let them install two S-Cards only if they don't assess the charge for a second CableCard .
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:07 PM   #10
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We installed our own Mcard, and i think if we were able to do it, ANYONE can do it
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:10 PM   #11
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Comcast in Chattanooga was reasonably helpful in getting mine setup, first one took a little work, but the 2nd one was a breeze. All picked up from the local office.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:11 PM   #12
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I tried, the CSR said they didn't have cards in the office - only the techs have cards.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:13 PM   #13
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Wierd, maybe it depends on where you live.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jbkendrick View Post
I have spent the last week trying to get a multistream card for my new TiVo HD XL. After several hours on the phone with Comcast call takers and supervisors, and waiting around at home for techs to show up for the last two days, and each time the tech shows up with single stream cards that don't work, I am getting quite frustrated.

Comcast, even their supervisors, are playing dumb acting like they don't know what a multstream card is, and only agreeing to send a tech out after I site the FCC regulation. The techs say when they arrive that they can't get the cards, and the single stream cards they have in stock are mostly damaged. They also state that there is nothing on the work order that indicates a multistream is needed, even though the supervisors say they put it in the order.

I'm about ready to return my TiVo and cancel service, and would warn others not to go with TiVo as it seems the major carriers are refusing to support it.

Any help that can be offered would be appreciated. I would like to get my TiVo working if possible. John
I think you're just confused a bit so don't panic. Some cableco's do not have "M" (multi-stream) cable cards yet. TiVo HD's and HDXL's will work with "M" or "S" (single stream) cable cards. If they don't have "M" cable cards all you need are two "S" cable cards. You can argue w/them about paying for a 2nd card or not. (Our 2nd card from Comcast is $1.50/mo.)

If the cards they tried don't work there's a good possibility that the cards they tried simply didn't work. There are plenty of posts here, on the AVS Forum and elsewhere about techs having to go through a half-dozen or more cable cards before they found one's that worked. (Makes me guess that they just take the ones that didn't back and toss them in the pile for some other poor tech to try. )

It's also a rare possibility that your TiVo has a problem. Rare but not unheard of. If electronics fail it's usually right away. In that case you can get a brand new box from TiVo if you're in the 30 day full replacement warranty (otherwise $49 in the first year). Or just take it back to the retailer where you bought it for an exchange.

So you just need to work with Comcast (in a less combative way?) and/or TiVo to get things ironed out. Tens of thousands of people are enjoying TiVo (w/cable cards) provided by Comcast and all of the major and minor cable companies.

Last edited by richsadams : 01-03-2009 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Typo...d'oh!
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:23 PM   #15
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:26 PM   #16
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Thanks, that was helpful. Fortunately, TiVo cares about its customers even if you don't. They agreed to 3-way into Comcast with me to explain what was needed. They understood that the cable companies are resistant and when they identified themselves, everything changed on the part of the Comcast call taker. For the first time in a week of calls, they knew what a cable card was, and even knew the difference between single and multistream. Imagine that. Perhaps a 3-way call with the cable company should be step #1 on the setup guide if cards are needed, or at least included as a recommendation. It would sure alleviate much wasted time and frustration.

What you apparently don't understand is that after putting out $600 on a TiVo box and agreeing to a one-year commitment, people need this to work rather quickly in order to not lose the short 30-day return privilege. I'm just glad you're not working for TiVo. I'm sure Comcast would hire you though.

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OMG that's too funny!

DON'T BUY A TIVO! (but can you pretty please help me with mine?)

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Old 01-03-2009, 04:27 PM   #17
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Here's an underhanded approach that will work, but personally I wouldn't recommend.

When you put in the order, order a Comcast DVR. Then somehow swap the Multistream CableCARD from the Comcast DVR with the single stream -- maybe let the installer install them both. Then wait a week and return the DVR. It'll take them some time to figure out what has happened and by then you won't care because you'll have your M-card.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:32 PM   #18
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Thanks to everyone for the replies

Thanks for the courteous replies. I am trying to get this to work, but just didn't expect to be taking two days waiting for techs to arrive and several hours on the phone for something so simple.

Comcast in the Maryland area will not allow you to install the cards on your own - that was my first request. And yes, they know the cards are in bad shape. The guy that showed up today told me it most likely was broken but its all they had so he tried.

I will update this thread with more information when the situation is resolved one way or another. And I apologize to those that feel my post was too harsh. John
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:36 PM   #19
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Thanks, that was helpful.
well I just saw your post in another thread in which TWC was actually trying to improve their service for Tivo customers by finally using M-cards.

Yet all you wanted to do was bitch some more about your Comcast experience and then bold out again for everyone not to buy a TiVo. You are aware this is a forum with people who use and like Tivo DVRs, have shelled out their own money for same and dealt with hassles of their own, and are now seeing you as basically being a jerk about the whole thing and being unhelpful as all get out in your very posts asking for others to help you. Lighten up the attitude and you will get a lot further, both here and with Comcast.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:39 PM   #20
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Any help that can be offered would be appreciated. I would like to get my TiVo working if possible. John
Go to: http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Cus...tomercare.html

Click on the link at the bottom: Send an e-mail to Rick Germano.

Describe your situation and what you've gone through. He will see that your problem gets taken care of quickly.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:43 PM   #21
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Thanks for the reply Rich. How much are they charging for the first card? Comcast told me the first would be $7.99 and if I needed a second, it would be another $7.99. I told them that is almost as much as a DVR rental and didn't make sense. I told them I thought the first should be free, but I was willing to pay for the second card. Of course, after reading the messages here, I should have negotiated a bit more.

I will take your advice, and keep working on it, especially since TiVo was concerned enough to call Comcast with me. John

Quote:
Originally Posted by richsadams View Post
I think you're just confused a bit so don't panic. Some cableco's do not have "M" (multi-stream) cable cards yet. TiVo HD's and HDXL's will work with "M" or "S" (single stream) cable cards. If they don't have "M" cable cards all you need are two "S" cable cards. You can argue w/them about paying for a 2nd card or not. (Our 2nd card from Comcast is $1.50/mo.)

If the cards they tried don't work there's a good possibility that the cards they tried simply didn't work. There are plenty of posts here, on the AVS Forum and elsewhere about techs having to go through a half-dozen or more cable cards before they found one's that worked. (Makes me guess that they just take the ones that didn't back and toss them in the pile for some other poor tech to try. )

It's also a rare possibility that your TiVo has a problem. Rare but not unheard of. If electronics fail it's usually right away. In that case you can get a brand new box from TiVo if you're in the 30 day full replacement warranty (otherwise $49 in the first year). Or just take it back to the retailer where you bought it for an exchange.

So you just need to work with Comcast (in a less combative way?) and/or TiVo to get things ironed out. Tens of thousands of people are enjoying TiVo (w/cable cards) provided by Comcast and all of the major and minor cable companies.

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Old 01-03-2009, 04:49 PM   #22
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...I'm about ready to return my TiVo and cancel service, and would warn others not to go with TiVo as it seems the major carriers are refusing to support it....
A more appropriate decision, John, would be to warn people not to use Comcast, and to NOTIFY THE FCC THAT YOUR LOCAL COMCAST OUTLET IS IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW, HINDERING A CUSTOMER'S USE OF THIRD PARTY EQUIPMENT AND REFUSING TO ALLOW SUCH TO INTERACT WITH THEIR CABLE SYSTEM.

This is a REAL serious matter, and you have all the good cards in your hand.

Comcast has NO authority to mess with you using your own box, and everyone involved in this can get into a royal heap of trouble.

I doubt the suits at Comcast's main offices want these people to drag them into a big mess like this.

Stand tall and don't wimp out, and don't become an agent for the dark side of the force.
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:59 PM   #23
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Thanks for the reply Rich. How much are they charging for the first card? Comcast told me the first would be $7.99 and if I needed a second, it would be another $7.99. I told them that is almost as much as a DVR rental and didn't make sense. I told them I thought the first should be free, but I was willing to pay for the second card. Of course, after reading the messages here, I should have negotiated a bit more.

I will take your advice, and keep working on it, especially since TiVo was concerned enough to call Comcast with me. John
IIRC our first cable card is free, the second (in our Series3) is $1.50 and the third ("M" card) in our TiVo HD is another $1.50.

But, and it's a big BUT...Comcast is no where near consistent across the country. The local companies are often the result of Comcast gobbling up smaller enterprises and assimilating them (yes, they ARE Borg ). So that means they often keep the same pricing/operating structure that was in place at the time. So some folks here are paying nothing for many cable cards and others are paying double digits. Go figure.

The Comcast CSR's I've talked to on the phone are corporate/centralized and do their best to deal with the local operators, but sometimes not all goes as planned.

Hang in there. As long as you have a ticket open with TiVo they won't cut you off at the knees if your issues aren't solved within the 30 day warranty period.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #24
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Then somehow swap the Multistream CableCARD from the Comcast DVR with the single stream -- maybe let the installer install them both. Then wait a week and return the DVR. It'll take them some time to figure out what has happened and by then you won't care because you'll have your M-card.
The DVR card won't work in the TiVo for a couple of reasons.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:38 PM   #25
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Make your life easy. Call Comcast. Do not confuse them, Don't say multicard. Don't say M-Card.

Just order a CableCARD.

That's do-able. CableCARDs are on the pricing sheet.

The tech that arrives will have M-Cards. You'll need one.

I have two M-Cards. The second one, which I, of course, ordered in the first place, took 3 hours to track down.

Don't get me started about how a few years back I went ballistic after arguing for 15 minutes with the Comcast sales prevention rep who insisted I could not order an HD set top box to get to the optical output for Dolby digital audio if I didn't have an HD TV.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:03 PM   #26
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It's all a complete crap shoot, from provider to provider and even from market to market for the same provider. I asked Time Warner Cable for 2 S-cards and they brought one M-card. Took all day to get it working but it works. They charge me $2.54 a month for it.
For some, a cablecard install is a one trip instant joy experience and for others it is a protracted, excruciating exercise in frustration. Unfortunately, your mileage, as they say, may vary
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:15 PM   #27
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The tech that arrives will have M-Cards. You'll need one.
No offense, but why would you make such a statement? As previously mentioned, the OP's local Comcast office may or may not have "M" cable cards. It doesn't sound like they do have them (many still don't). In addition, although it would be nice if they did, he does not "need" one. TiVo will work perfectly fine w/2 "S" cards.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:27 PM   #28
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No offense, but why would you make such a statement? As previously mentioned, the OP's local Comcast office may or may not have "M" cable cards. It doesn't sound like they do have them (many still don't). In addition, although it would be nice if they did, he does not "need" one. TiVo will work perfectly fine w/2 "S" cards.
I made such a statement because in my case M cards are all they had. You're right that another office may have the old S-cards.

My tech said that they had kinds of problems with S-Cards and weren't buying them any more.

It is true in the world of Comcast you can't assume anything other than the customers (here) will know a lot more answers than the employees do.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:11 AM   #29
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It is true in the world of Comcast you can't assume anything other than the customers (here) will know a lot more answers than the employees do.
Sad, but often very true.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:25 AM   #30
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This will sound like an unusual solution but go to twitter and add comcastcares, there is a guy that is upper management using that account and has helped number of people get around these messed up CS issues, sometimes the same day.
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