Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by amjustice, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Mike Farrington

    Mike Farrington Lost Member

    Nov 16, 2000


    If you're getting bounced back between the FCC and local comission, perhaps you could fire off a letter to the FTC, your local AG, or whatever the local equivilant to the FTC is (some sort of ombudsman?)

    Does Comcast national have some sort of consumer ombudsman? Someone who can set your local chain straight if need be?
  2. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    I'm not disagreeing with your sentiments WRT the A/O charges for one device, but realistically, they are NOT charging an exorbinant fee for the cableCARDs over the digital STB.

    Here, in the Boston area, they are currently charging $0.00 for the first card and $1.50/mo. for the second card in the same box. Then they are charging $3.51 for ONE additional outlet (A/O) if you have premium services like HBO. So, they are charging $5.01/mo. for a dual tuner device vs. $5.00/mo for their single digital STB w/remote.

    (That is the current pricing structure on their pricing sheet, although, I was charged $0.00 for both cards this month and just $2.75 for 1 A/O, their old rate. They did not follow their pricing increase, not that I'm complaining mind you.)
  3. Joanrobins

    Joanrobins New Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Hi Joelmoses,

    I'm supposed to go down and get my two cards next week. When I go through the self-install, who should I ask for a 1-800-comcast? It would be nice to "get the right guy" right off the bat!

  4. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    My Comcast contact called me this morning to check up on everything and make sure it all was still working. He also said they'd be giving me a credit for one month's service of $189 for all the trouble. I did receive my first bill this week and hadn't really managed to decipher yet exactly what I'm being charged for (all the partial month breakdowns and cryptic descriptions make it a bit difficult)... gonna look more closely at it tonight, I guess. Though having been told it was about $187 (+taxes), it's about where I expected it'd be for 2 HD DVR's plus 2 CableCARDs plus modem rental and my $159.99 Triple Play Platinum package.
  5. Brainiac 5

    Brainiac 5 New Member

    Aug 24, 2003


    Realistically they are charging exorbitant fees in some areas, just apparently not Boston. Warlord46 is being charged "$5.00 for HD service and $6.95 additional outlet for EACH cable card." So the same thing that costs you $5.01, costs Warlord46 $23.90.
  6. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Right. I guess I missed the part where the discussion went from Loosewiring's charges to Warlord46's charges. I was referring to the reply to Loosewiring where Warlord46 said the OP charges were exhorbinant. Whatever. The fact is, Comcast is all over the place. Nothing new there.
  7. jcddc

    jcddc Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    Back in October when I had two cablecards installed in my TiVo, Comcast started charging me $10 a month for two HDTV converters ($5 each). I called then to complain about this, and was told by a customer service agent that this charge was necessary, and that I would lose HD service if they dropped it.

    Yesterday, with my bill, Comcast sent a new pricing list. One line was "Two cablecards in a non-Comcast HD DVR: no charge currently, $1.50 per month in March."

    I called Comcast again to ask about the $10 charge. This time, the customer service agent voluntary removed the charge, back to October.

    (One of you also wrote me privately today to tell me about this, too).

    So I guess the moral is to watch your bill and talk to more than one agent if you think you're in the right.
  8. bbock727

    bbock727 New Member

    Feb 28, 2004
    Longbranch NJ
    jcddc can u tell us who you talked to and exactly what you said so we can do the same. We really all need to find one person at comcast who knows what they are doing w/ billing and all speak to the same person
  9. jcddc

    jcddc Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    I don't know whom I spoke with. But pricing policies seem to differ by jurisdiction, so I'm not sure my experience is useful for people outside of Washington DC.
  10. mafoo

    mafoo New Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    Hopkinton, MA
    Just to follow up, in case anyone else has this problem. I had the symptom of losing the encrypted channels such as espn/hbo/etc.. while unencrypted hd channels (nbc/cbs/etc..) worked fine.

    After blaming the cable cards I actually found it was my HDMI connection to my TV. I think Comcast must have changed encryption, and as Tivo is supposed to do, it re-encrypts incoming encrypted channels using HDCP over HDMI to the TV. It fouled up the TV on this change. After unplugging TV and re-booting TV, the encrypted channels worked fine.

    Word to the wise. Debug your Tivo and Cablecard installation using an ANALOG (component/composite) connection to the TV and THEN switch over to HDMI.
  11. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Now I'm really thinking they did. I noticed one of my cards went from 00X00 to 00X02. Not what we want, of course. But this may explain why I had a gray screen on one of my HBO channels when I turned on my TV. I see we are both in the same neighborhood.
  12. BrianCT

    BrianCT New Member

    Nov 1, 2003
    Unplugging the TV etc did ECM and EMM counts are still 0 on both cards.....damn Comcast.
  13. hiddentrout

    hiddentrout New Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    A bit cross-posted here , but I've realized this is a better place to post.

    I can't imagine reading all 2200+ posts, so I'm hoping someone who's followed this thread (or knows what the heck is going on) can point me in the right direction.

    A buddy had the CCs installed in his S3 yesterday. I went over to help him get it setup in his "main" room (it had been connected in a bedroom for ease of access to the cable outlet for the installer).

    Here's the thing (he's a NorCal Comcast customer).

    All SD channels appear to be fine.
    Almost all HD channels weren't working.

    INHD = blank screen
    DiscoveryHD = blank screen
    MUHD = blank screen
    UHD = blank screen
    TNTHD = blank screen
    ESPNHD = blank screen
    ESPN2HD = blank screen

    Now his FSNHD and HDSE channels were not broadcasting content, but both had an HD "filler" loop (on FSNHD it was the FSN logo rotating in HD) which *DID* display fine.

    The local PBS affiliate had their HD channel being received.

    The handful of local stations were broadcasting and being received, but as we were there from 5:45 - 7:30ish, they were not broadcasting the network HD so I don't know if that would be displayed or not. I think it's unlikely.

    This was incredibly odd and frustrating, and ultimately he just re-connected his 6412 which works fine.

    He's ready to toss the S3, but I told him to give me a few days and I might be able to sort the issue, as I'm certain he's not the first guy to have this issue. ;)

    Can someone point me in the right direction..?
  14. Jobius

    Jobius New Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    I got my CableCards yesterday in San Francisco. It sounded like a busy day at Comcast. The installer spent a lot of time waiting for the central office to respond to his requests on his Nextel walkie-talkie thing, but they eventually took down all the numbers and got the first card activated. The second card wasn't responding, and the installer didn't have a spare. (He apologized for this, saying that "they" wouldn't give installers spares.)

    When I got back from the office last night, both cards were working. I guess the activation "hit" for the second card was just stuck in some queue for a while. HD is looking beautiful on my 37" Westy LCD now!
  15. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    Feb 28, 2001
    It sounds like a standard "cablecard has lost its provisioning" problem that Comcast needs to fix. Might just be a goofup on Comcast's end or it might also happen if the cablecards got removed from the S3 during its move.

    You might try unplugging the S3 for a bit and then seeing if the cablecards can re-establish a proper connection with the head end when they get powered up again, but I would be surprised if that worked. I think you'll have to call Comcast.
  16. DeathRider

    DeathRider New Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Boston Area RCN
    Not all channels are encrypted. Most likely, these channels are and the cabble cards don't have the authorization/key to allow viewing.

    He may have to get the cards rehit/authorization signal. May require another truck "rollout". It is possible his account hasn't been configured at the headend [comcast].
  17. hiddentrout

    hiddentrout New Member

    Feb 1, 2002
    Thanks folks.
  18. Strotti

    Strotti New Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    2 hrs on the phone /w Comcast and still not OK !

    I have / they charged me now

    Limited Basic $ 16.00
    Digital Plus $ 14.95
    Cinemax $13.50

    1 Regular Digital Box / $ 0
    1 HD Digital Box / $ 6.95
    2 CableCards / each $5 ($10)

    HD Service !!! $15 for the two cable cards and sure the HD Box

    They promised me to gave me $10 credit for the CableCards.
    We will see.

    Meanwhile my CINEMAX HD isn't working ...

    I also asked about the CODE for 2 CABLECARDS for NON COMCAST DVR. They never heared about it.

    WHAT kind of people are working at Comcast .. if you asked .. do youknow what a TIVO is ? NO ! I heared about it. That's all !

    WOW :) :D :D :D :D


    Total : $ 66.40

    My last BILL was $ 87.48 they charged me $20 for HD and $20.68 for equitment.
  19. docjohnboy

    docjohnboy New Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Hey guys. First of all I want to say thank you to everyone who has posted about their experiences. I couldn't have gotten through my install without this community. Just thought I'd post my experience.

    I went to a Comcast payment center the other day to see if I could just pick up the cable cards. They didn't have any so I just scheduled the truck roll there. I got my TiVo from Amazon at work today and had a friend wait at home for the comcast guy. When he got there he wanted to know where the box was. He got on the phone with me and said it's not recommended that they leave the cards, then I asked him to anyway and he said he couldn't. Then he called dispatch and got the OK and registered the cards on my account and left them with my friend. (bullet dodged)

    When I got home, I activated the TiVo and started the guided setup. Got to the CableCARD setup and put the first card in slot 1. Called comcast when the MMI screen popped up and they sent an initilization hit. I didn't know to wait for the 161-4 error and started the channel test. It looked fine at first glance so I did the same with the second card. It wasn't until I finished the setup that I saw the issue with the higher number channels and the non-local HD channels.

    After reading through posts on here I started over and this is the sequence I found that worked perfect with both cards.

    1. Restart TiVo
    2. Get to the Cable Card screen
    3. Insert first card
    4. Wait for MMI screen, just clear it when it comes up
    5. Go to comcast online chat and have them send an initialize hit to the card (giving them the serial)
    6. Wait for the 161-4 error, hit select
    7. Do a channel test, check a low SD channel and a high HD channel.
    8. Check the Conditional Access screen, should say Auth: SUBSCRIBED
    9. Done with Card 1, Insert Card 2 and repeat 4-8

    Again thank you all. Hopefully this can help someone else.

  20. rtm242

    rtm242 New Member

    Sep 25, 2006
    Too bad for that experience... not all Comcast offices are the same it seems. I was "the first person" in our area to set this up back when the S3 launched and had a hiccup (not waiting for the error), but got it installed within an hour or so on the phone.

    My current bill (Comcast in Bellevue,WA area with 2 cable cards and no set top box):

    $15.99 Digital Plus Package
    - $4.00 Service Discount
    $13.15 Limited Cable
    $36.10 Expanded Cable
    $31.98 HBO and STARZ!
    - $19.99 Service Discount
    $42.95 Broadband
    $5.54 Misc taxes/fees
    $121.72 total

    Its not as cheap as I'd like, but it gets me fast internet and a lot of channels. :)

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