Newbie Question

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by kosem, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. kosem

    kosem New Member

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    Sep 21, 2007
    Hi All,

    I am planning to sign-up for Comcast service (was using DirectTV before) and recently bought an HDTV and will be buying Tivo HD. All this is too much for me to digest, and I am a bit confused about what I should be getting from Comcast.

    AFAIK, this is what I should get from Comcast:

    - One of the Digital Packages, e.g. Digital Starter with HBO (
    - HDTV package ($7 / month)
    - Cable Card from Comcast (1 M-Card or 2 S-Cards)

    Is this all I need? Also, do I need any receiver or anything like that from Comcast at all?

    Thanks
     
  2. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    Get a digital package and the CableCARD(s) as you mention,

    DO NOT get the HDTV package or let them sell it to you - it is unnecessary. You will get HDTV fine with the Tivo HD and the CableCARD(s). If they ask, tell them you don't have an HDTV.

    And no, you don't need a receiver (and can't use one with the Tivo HD) - the Tivo HD with the CableCARD(s) is your cable box.
     
  3. windracer

    windracer joined the 10k club

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    St. Pete, FL
    Wouldn't that depend on which HD channels you want? I don't know about Comcast, but with BHN and CableCARDs/digital cable I could get the broadcast networks in HD (NBC, Fox, etc.) but getting the HD package adds on TNT-HD, Discovery HD Theater, HDNet, etc.
     
  4. doraemon

    doraemon New Member

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    Sep 18, 2006
    It definitely depends on your cable provider. For Comcast where I live, adding the digital package on top of standard cable (basic + expanded) gives the HD channels you listed. The $7 fee is for renting a HD box from Comcast to tune the channels, which I don't need since I have the S3. :) Mind you, I do have to pay for renting the CableCards, but the digital package includes 1 free and the 2nd is $1.75 or so.

    The Digital Starter package wasn't available when I subscribed, so I'd check what specific channels it includes.
     
  5. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    That's correct (if Comcast is behaving the same in your area as ours), you'd need the Comcast HD package to get ALL of the HD channels offered.

    Also correct. We pay $1.50 for each of our cable cards. Seems the pricing is different depending on what city you’re in, street you live on, the day of the week, the alignment of the planets, etc. ;)
     
  6. kosem

    kosem New Member

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    Sep 21, 2007
    Now I am confused???
    RichsAdams, you said

    which conflicts with the second part of your message, where you replied to doraemon, who was saying you don't need the Comcast HD package?

    Do I need to get the HD package or not? Can you please elaborate?

    Thanks.
     
  7. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
    Most cable providers include the OTA HD channels (ie ABC, CBS, PBS etc) for free (although Comcast tried to swindle me into paying for the HD package to get them). This is why someone said not to let them force you.

    Secondarily, some cable providers charge for a second tier of HD channels and include them in that HD package.

    The answer therefore is, 'it depends'.
     
  8. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    You'll need to check with Comcast regarding the packages they offer in your area. The "HD package", which requires adding the digital package on top of standard cable (basic + expanded), provides us with all of the HD channels here and apparently in doraemon's area.

    Basically you need to ask Comcast, "What package(s) do I need to receive all of the HD channels?" if that's what you're looking for. “All HD channels” meaning your local network HD channels (NBC, CBS, etc.) plus others such as PBS HD, Discovery HD, History Channel HD and so on. Again, if all you're looking for are the local network HD channels you can probably get them OTA by connecting an antenna.

    This forum is great for getting answers about TiVo, but dicey if you're looking for answers about your local cableco because there are so many variations even within one company such as Comcast. There is a Comcast forum out there but the last time I visited it all I found were dozens of threads about how awful their DVR's were. :rolleyes:

    Bottom line regarding what you can or can't get cable-wise is to ask the cable company. Tell them you have a TiVo DVR that uses two "S" cable cards or one "M" cable card and that you don't need their HD DVR, just the cable card(s) installed.

    Need more info about TiVo? You're in the right place.
     
  9. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    There you go. :up:
     
  10. drew00001

    drew00001 New Member

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Federal law provides that all local HD channels be in the clear. This means you do not need to pay for local HD Channels.

    Federal law does NOT provide the same allowance for non-local/national channels. This means you have to pay for a digital package to get national HD channels, such as TNT-HD, UHD, A&E-HD, Discovery-HD, ESPN-HD, ESPN2-HD, MOJO-HD, NG-HD, Food-HD, MTV-HD, etc.

    Please note that I live in Seattle and cannot name all national HD channels because we only get 20 HD channels on Comcast, while Comcast offers up to 26 HD channels in some markets. We complain about this often on AVSforum.com.

    Additionally, I am not sure whether Comcast's "HD Package" comes with the channels listed above. It was not disclosed the last time I updated my subscription. I also relied on an ariticle on Tvpredictions.com, quoting a Comcast exec, stating that Comcast did not plan to offer an "HD Tier." Such article seems out of date.
     
  11. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    I'll bet you $20, that if you have a digital package through Comcast and you discontinue your "HD package", you won't lose a single channel. :) You'll get all sorts of dire warnings from the rep though.

    Been there, done that. Almost certainly marketing hype for a "service" you don't need.

    What do you have to lose? Order the digital package and the cable cards without the HD package. If Comcast has some sort of unique HD package in your area and you don't get the channels you expect AFTER the cablecard are properly paired/validated, you can always add the "HD package". Adding it to your account is easy. But once you have that $7 add on, it's near impossible to get rid of it.

    I can't speak with 100% certainty for all Comcast areas, but for most, here's what happens to your account for that "HD package" fee:

    - They flip a bit saying you have "HD service" so ADS is enabled for your account. They'll give you a hardware converter box if you need one. This seems to get added by default if you say you have "an HDTV".

    If you get CableCARDs, guess which bit gets flipped when the cards are added to your account? :D
     
  12. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Just to clarify...

    FCC mandate (most interpretations of it) require that the locals be included in the limited basic tier with the analog locals. Cpy protection cannot be applied. The cable provider can still charge you $10-$15/mo for locals access, they just can't charge you separately for the HD locals.
     
  13. kosem

    kosem New Member

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    Sep 21, 2007
    Actually, this makes sense. When you select one of the digital packages, and look at the channel lineup, you see all digital channels (including discovery, pbs, etc.)...

    BTW, is there National Geographic HD on Comcast?
     

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