Houston Texas Comcast Cable Card Experience

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by wpattison, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Aug 5, 2007 #21 of 169
    rhizopod

    rhizopod New Member

    13
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    Aug 2, 2007
    Houston, TX

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    Interesting, I too suffered through all of the "problems" you've described above, but I guess they didn't bother me as much.
    My only issue was not having all the premiums I subscribe to on both CableCARDs, but two calls to that direct number after scanning through both CableCARD lineups noting missing channels, and 48 hours later, everything was working fine.

    Honestly, I have been quite impressed by Comcast after the takeover.... I now have channels I had been dying for TWC to add (ESPN2HD, NFL Network), more HD channels, faster internet, and now, readily available CableCARDs and official Tivo partnership/support. I even received a "courtesy call" from Comcast yesterday to make sure everything was working fine with my Tivo and their service. It was and still is.

    Update: I experienced pixelation and ultimately loss of signal on HBO HD (460) yesterday. Rebooting solved the issue, but this is a new concern as I had not experienced this before. Since rebooting solved it, is it safe to assume Tivo is the problem?
     
  2. Aug 16, 2007 #22 of 169
    spaceboytom

    spaceboytom Tivo Since 2001

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    Jan 8, 2006
    Houston, TX
    My experince could not have been any smoother. Bought a TivoHD at Best Buy for $264 with 12% off coupon. Went to Comcast office (NASA Parkway/I-45) on saturday afternoon with my old DVR box, turned it in and got a new M-card in about 5 minutes total time. Performed inital setup on Tivo last night, called in this morning an activated in about 10 minutes total time. The only minor bump was the cablecard activation is only available 8am-5pm Mon-Fri, so I wasn't able to be at home for an activation until this morning. It still beats the heck out of having to get a tech to make a service call to install it though.

    With the MSD I get, I should come out $7/month ahead on my combined Comcast/Tivo bill and not have to deal with the awful cable DVR! :up:
    (Old: $13.95/month for Comcast HDTV Converter/DVR)
    (New: $0.00/month Comcast Cablecard + $6.95/month for Tivo Service)

    SBT

    Sony Series 1 - Lifetime
    Tivo Series 2 DT - MSD
    TivoHD - MSD
     
  3. Aug 16, 2007 #23 of 169
    rhizopod

    rhizopod New Member

    13
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    Aug 2, 2007
    Houston, TX
    After going through 4 CableCARDs (2 S-Cards and 2 M-cards) and numerous phone calls to Tivo and Comcast, I think I've finally gotten everything working. I live in an apartment and I forgot there was a 2-way splitter in my hall closet that split the cable between my bedroom and living room. I replaced that 5M-1G Regal Splitter with a Monster 2GHz splitter, and replaced my 5M-1G DigiTap Splitter with another 2GHz Monster at my equipment rack, and all my problems disappeared. I've got all HD premiums (including the pixelation-prone HBO HD 460) working fine now, with a single M-card. Never thought this day would come. The Monster splitters were pricey, and I do wonder if something like this would have sufficed at half the price, but I suppose all I care about is that everything is working now.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2007 #24 of 169
    zackangelo

    zackangelo New Member

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    Sep 14, 2006
  5. Aug 17, 2007 #25 of 169
    rhizopod

    rhizopod New Member

    13
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    Aug 2, 2007
    Houston, TX

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    The splitters I installed offered lower attenuation and higher bandwidth compared to the ones I had in before. I'm not sure if something like the ones in your link would work (it does seem to offer higher bandwidth than the standard 2-way), though the name of the game is to minimize noise and loss, so my advice would be to spend more on a quality product, especially if your issues are related to signal loss.

    Does anyone know where in the frequency band Comcast Houston packs the HD Premiums like HBO HD?
     
  6. Aug 17, 2007 #26 of 169
    b3ar

    b3ar New Member

    67
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    Dec 1, 2005
    Yes, assuming Comcast hasn't moved them. ;)

    (I'd have to go to my old notes. There is one ecnrypted QAM channel that has like 2 or 4 channels on it. One of my old tuners would show one of them as HBO HD in between the encryption "hits".) It's either in the high 70s or low 80s.

    Bill

    (btw, once you've spent some time in the High Tech industry, you learn that brand names mean very little - it is who really makes the things, and to what spec, that matters. I haven't tried the Monoprice splitters, but I can point you to some much better splitters than Monster from a brand perspective that are consistent with Monoprice's price:

    http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=OBO-P-2400-2-GX)
     
  7. Aug 17, 2007 #27 of 169
    rhizopod

    rhizopod New Member

    13
    0
    Aug 2, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Do you know what the bandwidth of Comcast Houston signal is? I tried (albeit not very hard) to find that information but was unsuccessful. The splitter above has a rated bandwidth of 900 MHz - 2.2 GHz, cutting off earlier on the low end than all the other splitters I tried (including the Monsters, at 5 MHz). I don't know if that would cause problems with Cable TV or Internet or not (something tells me using a splitter like that with cable TV is just asking for problems, though). The only other splitter I found that looked like it was worth spending money on was the one from my previous post; but I wanted something now, so I went ahead and paid the highway robbery price of $20 each for the Monsters at Fry's and I don't have any more pixelation/loss of signal problems.
     
  8. Aug 18, 2007 #28 of 169
    Micah

    Micah New Member

    1
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    Aug 18, 2007
    I live in an apartment in the med center and I currently have cable internet with Comcast (Formerly TW). I went to the Comcast store in Bellaire to order the digital starter package, and I'm using a TIVO HD (already activated). I have been through 4 cable cards Moto (single-stream and M-card). I'm currently having trouble getting the channel 305 and 777 even after a channel scan or cableCARD Is Stuck on "Please wait... Acquiring Channel Information". The Comcast reps told me that I should at least get those channels before they activate the CC. I've hooked up a Comcast STB from a friend in the same apartment complex and I'm able to pick up these channels 305 and 777, but I'm not able to pick them up with the Tivo HD or my Pionner (with CC slot). I believe that I could not receive those channels because my cards were not activated. I was able to do a digital channel strength and I descrambled some basic cable channels. I'm currently using 2 Single-stream CC (Moto), and I lied to the Comcast tech and said I have those channels 305 and 777. They took my numbers (CC #, Host, Data, unit address..) for both cards and slots, and I'm currently awaiting for Monday 8-5pm when they can activate it. If nothing pops up, then I'll probably cancel and return my TIVO HD. My concerns are why couldn't I pick up basic cable channels and why did they need those channels before they could activate my cards?
     
  9. Aug 18, 2007 #29 of 169
    zackangelo

    zackangelo New Member

    28
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    Sep 14, 2006
    I just got off the phone with a Comcast rep. We finally got my cable working. I asked him a couple of questions about the new M-Cards they've been handing out. He said they've been available for about a month and that they've had a lot of luck with them compared to the old single stream cards (which were apparently giving them a lot of problems).

    You need to make sure that you are subscribed to the correct channel lineup. He said its very common for CSRs to order the wrong packages in conjunction with CableCARDs because their procedures have recently changed.
     
  10. Aug 20, 2007 #30 of 169
    spaceboytom

    spaceboytom Tivo Since 2001

    30
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    Jan 8, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Well... I spoke too soon. The cablecard didn't pass authorization after all (they said wait 24 hour for all the channles to get authorized). The activation rep tells me the numbers reported by Tivo for the card aren't valid. I read them to 2 different reps, so I know it is correcton my end. Of course second rep didn't have any clue what an M card was and said that I didn't get it from Comcast. So I will try and call again tomorrow and hopefully get someone who can fix the problem, otherwise I guess I will swap out the card and see if that works. For the channels I was getting though, the Tivo looked great after the b2 update! With b1, I had initially blocking on CBSHD (311) and FOXHD (309). I still have faith in Tivo.

    SBT
     
  11. Aug 28, 2007 #31 of 169
    spaceboytom

    spaceboytom Tivo Since 2001

    30
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    Jan 8, 2006
    Houston, TX
    Swapped out the Mototrola M-Card for another one and all seems to work well now. I am a happy Tivoer in HD now! :up: :up: :up:

    SBT
     
  12. Aug 29, 2007 #32 of 169
    b3ar

    b3ar New Member

    67
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    Dec 1, 2005
    Comcast is 900MHz, but the key is that you want as clean of a signal as possible. Thus, I "overspec" the bandwidth I need for splitters under the assumption the the 2.2GHz ones are built to a higher standard. If Comcast begins to start using more bandwidth, I will definitely find out. However, that is pretty unlikely. The cost of changing would be prohibitive, from what I understand.

    Oh, yeah, the splitter, above, has bandwidth from 5MHz to 2200 MHz.

    Bill
     
  13. Aug 29, 2007 #33 of 169
    CCourtney

    CCourtney Member

    490
    2
    Mar 28, 2006
    El Dorado...
    Any of you m-card users check your bill to see if they're charging you an 'Additional Cable Card Fee?'

    When I picked up my cable cards back on 7/27 they were claiming they didn't have m-cards (I think Bellaire got them ~ 8/2) anyway on this months bill I now see a $1.50 charge for additional cable card.

    After Comcast took over the billing, I saw the cable card fee disappear (one cable card on my Sony DHG-HDD DVR) now I'm at two cable cards (Sold my Sony on e-bay) if I can swap out the for any m-card it's worth the $18/yr savings.

    CCourtney
     
  14. Aug 29, 2007 #34 of 169
    rhizopod

    rhizopod New Member

    13
    0
    Aug 2, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I returned my Tivo HD & CableCARDs and went back to 8300HD. While I had the CableCARDs out, the first one was free and I was being charged $1.50 for the second.
     
  15. Aug 30, 2007 #35 of 169
    spaceboytom

    spaceboytom Tivo Since 2001

    30
    0
    Jan 8, 2006
    Houston, TX
    I have an M-Card plus 1 converter box for upstairs, all inlcuded in the $56.99 digital preferred package price. No extra fees from COmcast Houston (as of right now).

    SBT
     
  16. Sep 1, 2007 #36 of 169
    nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

    36
    0
    Aug 11, 2006
    I'm in Houston also and having problems with channels 290-291, 312-320.
     
  17. Sep 1, 2007 #37 of 169
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    15,434
    5,234
    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston/Bren...
    What part of town are you in? And what equipment (S3 or THD)?
     
  18. Sep 2, 2007 #38 of 169
    nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

    36
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    Aug 11, 2006
    I'm in Upper Kirby (think Richmond at Buffalo Speedway). I'm using the original S3.
     
  19. Sep 2, 2007 #39 of 169
    astrohip

    astrohip Well-Known Raconteur TCF Club

    15,434
    5,234
    Jan 6, 2003
    Houston/Bren...
    Yep, we have the same master feed from ComCast. I'm about a mile from you (Shepherd & Sunset), and have pixellation on the exact same channels. It started this summer. Different parts of town will experience problems with different groups of channels; it seems most people in our area have problems with the ones you listed.

    My project over the next week or so is to narrow down what causes this, and solve it. With the new TV season less than a month away, I need to get crackin' on this. I've got a few ideas to try (cables, cablecards, splitters, etc), and will post my results.
     
  20. Sep 2, 2007 #40 of 169
    nirvanayoda

    nirvanayoda New Member

    36
    0
    Aug 11, 2006
    Ok, I'll try a few things as well....I might go buy a cable amplifier. The tech isn't coming until Thursday.

    I guess it isn't that big of a deal being that I can pick up most of the channels I'm having problems with on my antenna....still annoying though.
     

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