Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. BPlexico

    BPlexico New Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    San Rafael, CA


    Let me know how you fair. I have a second card on order for installation on Sunday into my Tivo HD. ( I am using the one I had in my Hitachi Plasma in the TIVO HD for now).

    I called today based on your posting and requested an M card - after the person checked (she didnt know what they were) - she said she would add that to my order for Sunday.

    So hopefully Sunday they will arrive with an M card and I wont need to 2 of the S cablecards.

    If you can pass along the name of your tech that would be great. I am located in San Rafael.

  2. jsb_hburg

    jsb_hburg New Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    A tech came over to install yesterday. He had no prior CableCard experience. I walked him through the install steps over the phone while at work near the end of the workday. At 5:00, I had left work for home and arrived there at 5:15, 20 minutes after I ended the call with the tech. By 5:15, he had left. I was irate.

    I was told that he did not want to stick around for me, that he just tried one of the three cards in the first slot and got a 161-1 error and that he was told by another tech over the phone that none of the cards that he had would work since they were J Cards.

    Anyone here know of a J Card?

    I called to complain and got the install fee waived and will get a lead tech to install the CableCards hopefully this afternoon.

    I know that this is my first post as I finally bought a TivoHD last Thursday. Sorry for the rant.
  3. shohn

    shohn New Member

    Jan 3, 2005
    Pacific, WA (25 mi. south of Seattle)

    I got self install on the cards, no charge for the cards. I was able to setup everything on the same day my TivoHD arrived. Only took the phone Comcast support ten minutes to push the code to my cards.

    This was so easy! Just unplug the Series 2 and plug in the new box using the same cables.
  4. magnum68

    magnum68 New Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Has anyone provided there very own cablcards instead of renting them from the cable companies? If so, were you able to get them to work?
  5. pulsedrive

    pulsedrive New Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Manassas, VA


    Don't feel bad, I have had 8, count them, EIGHT failed appointments with Comcast in the NOVA area. I live in Manassas, VA and I have had them cancel on me or just flat out not show up 8 times now. I even took a day off work to try and work this out, hoping that in a WHOLE day, they could get their crap together. Nope, not once. I keep getting told, we are out of them, no, we have them but don't have a tech available to install them. We install them on Saturday, we don't install them on Saturdays, etc. Everytime it is a different story. I have talked to multiple supervisors, and they never call me back or get anything done. One even told me they were crediting my account for all the trouble, and never did.
  6. mae

    mae member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Well they did it on the first try! An ACI contractor (Darnell) showed up at about 12:30 (inside the window). He said he had never seen a Tivo or done a CC install. He had an M card, a copy of the instructions to installers that comes in the box, and a copy of some troubleshooting ideas from this board. He insisted I power down the TV and the Tivo before inserting the card, so I did and we waited for the long boot cycle.

    He called the numbers into HIS dispatch, and she then called Comcast to activate the card. Despite the high probability of one digit being wrong, Comcast hit the card three times and it activated. All digital channels came on except the premium ones (HBO,Showtime,Starz). We rebooted the Tivo, but no change.

    He called the dispatcher, she called Comcast, they hit the card a few more times and suddenly the premiums came in. He left after about 1.5 hours and I re-ran Guided Setup

    So far, so good. It shows that it is possible on the first, on-time visit. I'm a pretty sophisticated user, have experience with cable cards on a Mediacomm system (3 trips and 5 cards to get a TV working), had everything ready including posts from this thread, and could "help" the installer. I don't know if it would have worked with the average person who doesn't understand CC's or the Tivo.

    Good luck to those with the process still ahead of them and thanks to those who went where no one went before and posted their experience and advice.
  7. designbot

    designbot Internet Cliché

    Mar 29, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Here's where I'm at. I'm switching from DirecTV to Comcast with a TiVo HD to take advantage of their "Triple Play" deal here in Atlanta.

    Called on September 8, got an appointment for September 18 between 11 and 2. The customer service guy tried to tell me the CableCards would be something like $30 each. I told him that the Comcast website said they shouldn't cost anything. He put me on hold, and came back saying that the cards would be free, but they would cost $1.50/month each, and $18.25 to install. They had no idea what an M-card was. I called back again to talk to someone else, because I knew at least one of the cards should be free. The lady I talked to still had no idea what I was talking about. She said I was listed for two "TiVo cards," which cost $1.50/month. She said if I wanted "CableCards" instead, those would be free. I told her I was pretty sure those were the same thing, so she put me down for two CableCards for no monthly fee.

    Well, September 18 rolled around. No installer at 11, but Comcast called at 1 to say he was running late, and would be here around 2:30. At 2, I got another call from Comcast to explain to me why the installer was "wallfishing." I said I didn't know what she was talking about, and she said, "isn't the installer there?" I said, "no," and she said, "Well, that's weird," and hung up.

    Finally, around 2:15, "Bill" showed up. He had clearly never seen a TiVo before, and he didn't really seem to know what a CableCard was. I folded down the front flap and showed him where they needed to go, and he just sort of looked at me. Then I told him I would need to make sure that the Comcast phone service worked with my alarm system. He looked around for a while, and said he didn't think he could do it because he hadn't worked with my security company before (Ackerman). I told him that the Comcast website assured that their phone service should work with security systems, so he said OK.

    An hour or so later, my phone was hooked up. For half an hour or so, Bill clicked randomly at icons and windows on my Mac trying to find a mythical "Run" button to tell him my IP address, because he didn't believe me when I showed it to him in System Preferences. Despite his help, I eventually got the internet working. I came into the living room to find Bill changing channels on my TV. I explained again that the cable needed to be hooked up to my TiVo, not my TV, and that I needed two CableCards. I had to open the flap again and show him where the cards were supposed to go. He looked at me for a while again, and then, a wave of recognition passing over his face, said, "oh, yeah, they didn't have any cards at the warehouse this morning, so I couldn't pick them up."

    He insisted he would drop off two cards the next morning and hurried out the door. I had to unplug the cable from the TV myself and hook it up to my TiVo.

    Unsurprisingly, the next morning has come and gone with no word from Bill. I called Comcast, who said that they would call the dispatcher, who would call me back. I'm still waiting.

    -- Update: 9/21/07

    Bill never dropped off the cards, and the dispatcher didn't call me back, but when I called Comcast again, they set me up with an appointment for the next day between 2 and 5.

    Melvin came by at about 4:30, and definitely knew what he was doing more than Bill. He hadn't done a TiVo HD before, but he was familiar with CableCards. He had to mess with the wiring and sit on the phone with Comcast for over an hour, but he got everything working. Good guy.

    One thing that tripped us up: Comcast's Triple Play Starter package actually includes fewer channels than Digital Basic. At first they told me it would be $3/month to get the extra channels, then they said I would need to upgrade to a package that costs $60/month more. Sounds like I need to spend some more time playing CSR roulette...
  8. jmpage2

    jmpage2 Active Member

    Jan 20, 2004
    Just got off my 10th call with Comcast. I was told the following;

    1. In my market (Denver) there is no provision for M-card installation in Tivo. "Comcast's contract is for the installation of two S-cards in Tivo units at this time".

    2. Even though my first digital converter box is free, there is an additional $7 charge PER DEVICE for my HD programming (TNT, Discovery, etc). So in essence I am paying $7 per month for my "free" receiver as well as paying a $7 a month charge for the "HD Programming" that my Tivo HD receives.

    Since many here have told me that they are not paying these charges, maybe someone could give me the name of the Comcast executive assistant in PA who I can write to about these charges.

  9. renkablue

    renkablue New Member

    Sep 16, 2007
    Houston TX is my area - Comcast offers cable tv, digital phone and internet. I am a subscriber of the broadband internet, But Vonage has my phone service. By reading the post, it looks like Comcast policies are different by area of the country. I am new and haven't received my Tivo yet (purchased Series 2 from ebay). This will be my first experience, but I have heard nothing but good things about Tivo. If I enjoy my Tivo like I hope to enjoy it, I will consider the upgrade to Series 3. I am posting on this because I don't know why or when to consider going to a Cable Card....what is this anyway?
  10. clemon79

    clemon79 Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Doug's posted it several times, most recently in this post.
  11. lukin11

    lukin11 New Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Hi all, great forum, been reading for a while & this is my first post.

    I recently had to switch from DirecTV to Comcast because the tech couldn't get a signal from the HD satellites (was trying to upgrade to DirecTV HD for my new tv). Long story short, I am hating my Comcast DVR and miss my DirecTV Tivo badly.

    I currently have an SA 8300HDC that actually has an mstream cablecard in it. What I'm trying to figure out is... can I just buy the TivoHD and throw the card in? From the other posts in here, it sounds like it's really a matter of Comcast having the mstream card info 'registered' at the main office.... since I already have everything working... I'm hoping for the best here ....

    Granted I will have to return the SA box to not be charged for it, but if I can not put up with the hassle of the cablecard mstream vs ssstream and not have to have a tech out here... I'd be pretty happy!


    EDIT: I think I found my answer in the CableCard Installation FAQ (to which I cannot link since i am a n00b!) ... it looks like it's a GO!

    EDIT #2: From the Tivo site
    ... ugh maybe I will follow those instructions :)
  12. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    No, it won't be possible to do. Comcast is skirting the intent of the "level playing field" of CableCARDs being required even in their own equipment by essentially sealing the CableCARD into the receiver. Everything in their authorization system expects the serial number of the receiver and the particular CableCARD already in it to be the known, and there's no provision to remove the CableCARD, placing it into something else, and updating the necessary data in Comcast's system.

    In essence, even though their new receivers use a CableCARD, it may as well not for all the difference it makes. The techs installing them don't ever deal with CableCARDs, the dispatch CSR's don't ever deal with the CableCARD authorization details -- only the receiver serial number, and the cards are even locked in place with a metal coverplate so they're not easily removed/swapped. There's also no provision to swap jsut the CableCARD, you have to swap an entire receiver.
  13. notabbott

    notabbott New Member

    Oct 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    So, if my installer slotted both CableCARDs at the same time, how do I fix the damage? Right now, the first card works, but the second card only gets the most basic level of channels (local broadcast, local HD, local access) and "EnabledByCP" is stuck on "no." And that behavior persisted when the second CableCARD is swapped out. Twice.

    I'm running out of ideas here.

  14. dachtler

    dachtler New Member

    Oct 21, 2002
    The tech showed up this afternoon with 2 Motorola M-cards, just in case one didn't work right. He removed the two S-cards, installed the M-card in slot one, had the call center switch the info, and I was back up-and-running with dual-tuner functionality in about 20 minutes. I asked if he knew how many M-cards they had received, and he didn't know aside from the one left in his hand... :)

    The tech that installed my cards was Darrell Briggs. Another tech named Brendan came along as well to see if a single M-card in-fact supported dual tuners in a THD. The guy at the San Rafael Comcast that found the M-cards and had them shipped to him was Charles Johnstone, so if the tech that shows up doesn't have any M-cards, have him/her contact Charles or Darrell.

    Good luck!

    Jason (First M-card in Marin County! :) )
  15. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    The concept of putting in CableCARDs one at a time and performing the authorization is simply to avoid getting everything confused by the CSR. It's definitely not a requirement. I've activated them both ways... one at a time, and most recently putting both in then calling for activation with the info. Any and all problems are almost always solely because of info not being correct on the account -- either some peculiarity of order that authorized equipment needs to be listed, or programming details or authorization info being correctly associated with the card.

    From your description it really sounds like they've not associated your programming tier info correctly with the second card.
  16. notabbott

    notabbott New Member

    Oct 4, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Fair enough. How do I explain that to the person on the phone in a way they can understand and, uh, fix?

  17. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    Well, I think I'd focus on trying to talk to someone who has successfully dealt with CableCARDs several times; at that point any issues like how billing codes are entered for each device should be apparent to someone familiar with the system.

    Most of the time it seems one says "CableCARD" and the CSR hears "cable box" and you never get far with such CSRs. :)
  18. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    I know here a CSR can't input the info needed to get the CC working. They can input info but it doesn't do anything to get the CC working. There are only a couple of people in my area that have access to the head end where the equipment is to input the info. Even when I had a tech that knew what he was doing and who to contact, it took a while to contact the person since one of them is on call 24/7 and if not at the equipment can take a while to enter the info.
    They need to do it like FIOS where the tech enters the info in their laptop without having to contact a secondary person. The Comast techs I had always had to repeatedly yell the info over the phone until they got it right.
  19. lemieuxfan67

    lemieuxfan67 New Member

    Aug 29, 2007

    So after a week of back and forth with Comcast I finally have my tivoHD working.

    First install was last wed...only got local broadcast channels and was getting "CP not Auth" error.

    Second tech came out last friday who actually installed a cableCARD in a tivo before. he installed a new m-card and called it in. i got "CP Auth" message, but still only local broadcast channels. he said to wait to see if they "show up" over the weekend. when they did not all weekend he got in touch with a more experienced person. they made some "billing" or computer changes to my account which the tech said they had to change on the other tivo they installed to get that working.

    I now get all my channels, SD and HD!!!!

    It appears that multiple people have had problems with "coding" or "billing" computer glitches. The way they resolved this was to strip my account of everything, build it back up, and re-hit multiple times.

    P.S. Wanted to say thanks for all the info on this board. Any time I questions i fired up the laptop and looked here.
    Comcast should print out this thread and use it as a training
  20. lukin11

    lukin11 New Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thanks Doug ... I guess I get the honor of experiencing more fun with Comcast CSRs. Wish me luck!

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