Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT


    I do that now. One split goes to my TiVoHD with cable cards. My channels via that path are mapped to the 800's.

    CBS/4 HD is 804
    ABC/5 HD is 805

    My split that goes directly to the TV (Vizio) receives the signals like this:

    CBS/4 HD is 4-1
    ABC/5 HD is 5-1
    Fox/25 HD is 25-1


    What I am not sure of is if one were to subscribe to a digital, say starter pack, where you normally would not receive HD, I don't know what happens. It is possible that they would have to install a filter/trap to keep you from receiving things you are not supposed to get.

    I am receiving now exactly what I am supposed to receive. Nothing more. Nothing less.
  2. grampy

    grampy New Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Hudson, MA
    Yes, that is exactly what I do; in fact, i have a four-way splitter: one to TV, one to S3 Tivo, one to cable box (for OnDemand) and one to DVD/VCR recorder. The TV and DVD/VCR recorder get all local channels in HD as well as other basic SD channels. That is how Comcast works here in eastern Mass., can't confirm if that's how it works where you're located.
  3. illthreat

    illthreat New Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    These are the "clear" QAM channels (local) in your area. They work no matter what level of service (cable) you have at your residence. (just the locals)
  4. hybucket

    hybucket Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    Thanks - appreciate the reply.
  5. zenisu

    zenisu New Member

    Aug 3, 2006


    I've had my hdtivo sitting off to the side for a couple weeks now and just got around to working on setting everything up. I'm in the Chicago subarbs with Comcast - local office is Lisle. On the phone, the CSR said I could pick up my stuff at the office. The local office gave me a box but said they require a truck roll with an installation charge for cablecards. The lady there was not friendly at all (extremely non customer service oriented) and did not seem to know much of anything about cablecards so I didn't ask her about the card itself, but she did know it was for a tivo. I called the 800 number to confirm my appointment today and verify what was listed in the system for my install, and of course they had me down for a one single stream card. The CSR had trouble getting the system to accept the order for a multistream card, but she eventually got it to take it. I hope that means they are in stock in my area, but who knows? I'll post results after the install tomorrow.
  6. drhankz

    drhankz Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Salem NH
    WHAT A DIFFERENCE from one Comcast Area to another.

    I'm in Southern NH - Greater Boston Area.

    Last Friday my Comcast CSR called me to ask how
    my 5 [yes 5] new "M" cards where working. I reported

    But I said your call is perfectly timed. I was going to
    call her on Monday [1/28] and ask for a 6th "M" Card
    for my newest TiVo HD. She said NO PROBLEM - A
    tech will be there On Wednesday between 3-5 PM.

    I'm waiting for his call now. They call when leaving
    the previous appointment. The first 5 installs have
    been a cake walk.

    I guess it certainly depends on what Comcast Territory
    you live in - I'm Lucky and Happy.


    Comcast came and installed #6 - 24 minutes total.
    He even clocked himself -- He said the reason it
    took that long is because the Tech on the other end
    of the phone entering the data was doing something
    wrong and getting an ERROR. Once the Tech at
    ATS figured out HIS error - he entered the paring
    info and we were OFF and Running.

    The Comcast CSRs - here KNOW what they are doing.

  7. pl1

    pl1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Until the cableco's are forced to offer everything à la carte, I (along with many others) am forced to pay way too much just in order to get the few stations I want like NESN-HD, VS-HD, A&E-HD, SHO, PPV etc. Which brings up another question. Can you order PPV over the phone since you have cableCARDs (which is effectively equivalent to an STB)? You probably can. PPV would include sports packages.
  8. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT
    Good question. Don't know. I assume I could.
  9. ekrubmj

    ekrubmj New Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    I'm a Comcast customer in Fort Lauderdale (Broward County) Florida. I haven't seen any comments about this office in the thread, but here's my story...

    I bought my TiVoHD just after New Year's and called Comcast for installation of CCs after reading a lot of the horror stories in this thread.

    When I set up the appointment, I was very explicit and asked for 1 MS or 2 SS cards and to have the tech bring extras just in case. The tech arrived today at 3pm for my 2-5pm appointment. He even called about 20 min before to confirm directions to my house. When he arrived, I asked if he had done these before--he said yes! My heart skipped a beat!

    In his hand I saw one CC. I asked if it was a MS and he said no. His work order told him to install one CC. We plugged it in and TiVo recognized the SS card. The next words out of his mouth were "Do you already have one card"? Of course I said no and that I had asked for 1 MS or 2 SS cards. He then told me that he knew that TiVo required two cards from other installs he had done. I asked him why he didn't bring two? His response was the work order only said install one. (I can't blame him too much for following his work order, but come on folks, how about some common sense!!) I began to pound my fist into my head at that point. I kept my cool cause i knew arguing with him would only make me madder and would serve no other purpose.

    So, he left and I called my local office to schedule another appointment. The nice lady on the phone then asked if I wanted to come and pick up the cards myself. D'oh! I told here I'd love to, but to please verify if I could do that. She came back and said "no, you're right, the tech has to do it". The next appointment was two weeks off, but she said she'd send an email and see if the supervisor could get something earlier. Once she got a response, she said she call me back.

    So now I sit and wait broken hearted for a call I feel will never come. Please, dear gods of Comcast, let me not wait in vein.
  10. aojdawg

    aojdawg New Member

    Jan 9, 2008
    Hi folks, just thought I'd share our nightmare of an experience with you all, along with the almost magical resolution of the problems. The first part of this was written by my wife, who was more ticked than I was, and began drafting a letter to Comcast:

    I am highly displeased with the service we have received from Comcast.
    For Christmas I bought my husband a Tivo HD DVR. The reason I bought this DVR in the first place was to replace our Comcast DVR provided through our cable service. I knew I had purchased a good gift for him when I heard my husband complaining for the umpteenth time about how horrible that Comcast DVR was and how he wanted to smash it with a hammer.

    We had the Tivo set up and ready to go when on Tuesday, January 8th, we had our first tech come out to install the cableCARDs. My husband handed him the instructions from Tivo which he chose to ignore, saying he didn't need to look at it. Then, he stuck both cards into the front of the Tivo. My husband corrected him and told him that he was only supposed to install one at a time. At that point, he took one card out and began the installation.

    Eventually, after the tech left we FINALLY got one card working. The other card would only access basic cable channels and the basic HD channels (network channels like abc, cbs, etc.). After many calls and attempts to get the other card working, Comcast scheduled another appointment with a tech and replacement cards for the next day.

    Day 2: January 9th, 2008. The next tech came in and asked which card was not working and asked how to shut the Tivo off (there is no power button on a Tivo). He tried replacing the card twice and still nothing worked. My husband was telling him some different things to try that he had no idea about, but we still couldn't solve anything. After he left, we tried as many things as we could to try to get it to work.

    After multiple calls to Comcast, someone told me that the card wasn't correctly receiving information and set up another service appointment. With no good answers and very little faith in the abilities of the Comcast techs, we called Tivo.

    The woman from Tivo told me that I needed to make sure that Comcast had cards that were correctly formatted before they left for the next service appointment we had scheduled. I asked if there was any way possible for her to call Comcast and make sure they did everything correctly. She tried to get a conference call started. The first attempt resulted in her being hung up on and the second attempt involved her being put on hold for about 20 minutes and talking to two supervisors, only to be told that they would not talk to her. They would only talk to the account holder about this.

    We also tried calling another Comcast number where they attempted to activate the cards. Even though I insisted that we were using a Tivo, not a cable box, the guy on the phone said that the box would power down and the card would be activated. He finally understood that it would not power down and put me through to a "technical support supervisor." She said that she made an attempt to get it to work and it didn't work. She did give me a number for the Tivo card experts that we could call if we needed to while the service person was here.

    Day 3: January 10th, 2008. When the tech arrived, he didn't know what box was the Tivo and he didn't realize that the cards were installed in the front. He told us that he had never worked on a Tivo before.

    So, we explained the situation and he got on the phone. After repeating the card numbers over and over again to someone from Comcast, and I suppose trying to get them to activate it correctly, it still didn't work. He attempted many times, with instruction from someone from Comcast, to remove the cards and reinsert them. I offered for him to try to talk to someone from Tivo for help, but as with everyone else from Comcast, they refuse to try to learn anything new, sticking to protocol and the very little knowledge they have about Tivo.

    And here's where I come in - My wife spent several hours navigating the maze that is Comcast customer support, before finally getting a supervisor that actually knew what he was doing. Basically, he said that they would try some things on their end, and that if it didn't work, a supervisor would come out the next day to personally get it working. Of course, we were promised a callback which never came. We went to bed, exhausted, angry, and vowing to bend Comcast to our will.

    Day 4 - January 11th, 2008 - Lo and behold, the head of our local Comcast office was on our doorstep at 9:30 a.m., along with the overwhelmed tech from the day before. After 2 hours, the pair had only succeeded in replacing both cards (including the one working perfectly), and leaving us to run guided setup on our own, which resulted in again, one card working, one not. I have to say though, these guys did the best they could do with the idiots on the other end of the phone instructing them. They were very eager to listen, and I even gave them my instruction sheet for the boss to train his techs with.

    Finally, at about 8:00 p.m. that night, I followed the advice of some of the posters here, and entered Comcast Chat. The following is a transcript of the chat (I had to use my wife's name since she's the primary account-holder):

    chat id : 56302ca0-536c-4429-b9d6-ac00190077b7
    Problem : I need a Cablecard expert to help me.
    Elizabeth > I need a Cablecard expert to help me.
    Ely > Hello Elizabeth_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Ely. Please give me one moment to review your information.
    Ely > Good evening! Please allow me a moment to pull up your account information.
    Ely > Elizabeth, ok I have pulled the account. What seems to be the issue you are having?
    Elizabeth_ > I have an HD Tivo with dual tuners. One cablecard is working, one isn't.
    Elizabeth_ > I believe it's a pairing issue, but I'm not sure.
    Ely > I see, do you know the serial number for the card that isn't working?
    Elizabeth_ > No, the tech who came out failed to give me the number off the card before the install. It's the card in card slot 2.
    Ely > Ok please do me a favor and take both cable cards out. I will need the serial number of the one in slot 2. However, please leave them both out.
    Elizabeth_ > Okay, removing cards right now. The serial number on card 2 is NG3614TA1625.
    Elizabeth_ > That's the card that's not working.
    Ely > Ok thank you. One moment please.
    Ely > Ok put both cards back in and tell me when you are done.
    Elizabeth_ > Alright - putting both cards back in. It'll be a few seconds before they boot up.
    Ely > Ok as soon as they boot up let me know and I will send a special signal.
    Elizabeth_ > Okay, both are up; both are showing the pairing information
    Elizabeth_ > Just got a error 161-4
    Elizabeth_ > I think that's good, right?
    Ely > Possibly, go ahead and take them both out again.
    Elizabeth_ > Okay, both of them are out.
    Ely > Now put them back in and then allow the Tivo to update again.
    Elizabeth_ > Do you mean run guided setup, or restart the unit?
    Ely > The guided setup if possible.
    Elizabeth_ > Sure, it'll take 20-30 mins. though.
    Elizabeth_ > At least I'm on DSL
    Ely > Oh I see, if anything you can chat with us again if the issue continues. I do apologize for the trouble this caused.
    Elizabeth_ > Okay, so should I end chat now
    Ely > Thank you for using Comcast’s Live Chat support, is there anything else I can assist you with today?
    Elizabeth_ > That's all, thanks
    Ely > Thank you for contacting Comcast. If you need assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us through Live Chat or E-mail (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Simply visit and select Help.
    Ely > Analyst has closed chat and left the room

    I was very doubtful of this "special signal", but the damn thing worked. I ran guided setup, which took twice as long as before (good sign), and both cards were working flawlessly! The head of our local Comcast office wants me to email him the chat transcript, so that he can use it to help train his techs, and find out what kind of magician this "Ely" is.

    I'm sorry for the length of my post, but I felt some other posters would get some good tips and use out of it.
  11. mchief

    mchief Morey

    Sep 10, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    If anyone cares anymore, I received an email from Comcast a hour ago informing me that the new HD channels for Arlington/Alexandria VA were scheduled for 1/20 are now scheduled for 2/26 due to some technical ...

    I am holding my breath
  12. ninjadvr

    ninjadvr New Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    Thanks. I've been "busy" waiting for cablecards that I didn't notice we were getting new HD channels. Do you know which channels/have a link where they're listed? Nice to have something else to concern oursleves with!
  13. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

    Aug 25, 2005
    I called the local supervisor one more time this morning and tell him, politely, that this is the last time I'm calling him, that I really want to work this at his level, but I need a call back by 2pm today. 2pm comes and goes (surprise) and I'm too busy to call the executive care number. But, when I get home, there is a message from the local office person that the tech said could solve my problem. Cool! She said she would be leaving at 4pm but would call tomorrow. I'll be home from 8-11 in the morning, so I called and left a message for her.

    I've learned a lot about leverage during this little experience.

    I'll post my happy conclusion tomorrow. Maybe.

  14. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    Nov 30, 2007
    they are on the website on the Channel Lineup.

    But I think a couple are Sci-Fi HD, USA HD, Food Channel HD and a few more...
  15. Jon65

    Jon65 New Member

    Aug 25, 2005
    At 10:00 last night I noticed HGTV-HD is not coming in now. Grrr. I check everything else, and ALL my missing channels are there. So, now I've got everything but this channel, which has never been a problem before. Rerunning Guided Setup doesn't help. Sigh.

    At 8 am this morning I get a call from Michele who knows all about my situation, has looked at my account ("It's a mess! No wonder you aren't receiving what you should.") and fixed everything up. I tell her about HGTV-HD and she goes to check. Problem is system wide and she reports it. Now I'm happy. But wait, there's more: She voluntarily gives me a promotion rate for a year! I didn't even ask. Sweet. Now my bill for digital cable+HD, internet, and digital voice is $125/month. Previously I was paying $137/mo. She tells me to call her directly if I ever have problems in the future. Apparently her whole job is to fix CSR and head-end rate code mistakes. Talk about job security! :)

    I can't be much happier about the outcome.

    Thanks again for the help and this thread.

  16. KraziJoe

    KraziJoe What? Me Worry?

    Nov 30, 2007
    Can you have her move to VA and head up the Manassas Branch? Please???
  17. mchief

    mchief Morey

    Sep 10, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    New Channels for Arlington/Alexandria to add 2/26:

    229 HGTV HD
    231 FOOD HD
    234 CNN HD
    235 USA HD
    236 SCI FI HD
    237 HISTORY HD
    239 DISC HD
    240 TLC HD
    241 ANIMAL PL HD
  18. Pictor Guy

    Pictor Guy New Member

    Apr 6, 2003
    Seattle WA
    Wow! I can't believe how incompetent Comcast is turning out. I went into this switch with low expectations but I am speechless. One week ago today I was scheduled to have phone and cable service installed. I expected problems so when the guy shows up two hours early with no cable cards for my two TiVoHD's and no Comcast HD DVR for the third outlet I was understanding (even though it was right on his work-order that he made me sign).

    I had scheduled a 9am-noon window but at the installer was at my door just after 7am. It appears "I" (not being a morning person and having taken the day off for the install) scheduled a early install. My fault apparently as I "must have written down the wrong time" in my calendar. What ever, customer is not always right. I expected some issues and that's why I blocked off the day. So after getting me out of bed he tells me that he'll wait to start the install and run to his other appointment while his supervisor returns with the cable cards later. These guys were contractors so I cut them some additional slack.

    The installer and his supervisor return around noon with two M-Cards and start the install. The installer has never seen a 110 punchdown block and doesn't have a punchdown tool so his supervisor gets his and proceeds to give a lesson while installing my phone service. Hmmm... install phones and doesn't have a punchdown tool... okay, most homes don't use this kind of setup I'll give them that. I show him here the demarcation point is and where he only needs to tap into the 110-block to light up the whole house with phone service by connecting the two pair of wired (two phone lines). While giving the lesson I hear an uh-oh and some whispering. I'm around the corner and didn't hear anything breaking so I didn't think much of it. Only one of the two lines end up working. After confirming that the phone works from the eMTA by calling the office I hear the person on the other end say it's my house wiring. I tell him that I'll figure it out since this wasn't rocket science. (turns out it was a pulled cable ... remember the "uh-oh" comment? Yeah, my fault again.)

    On to the cable cards... finally I thought. He tries one TiVo and can't get the cards paired. Checks the signal and it turns out to be a little weak but he said it should still work. Tries the second TiVo. Nothing. He tells me the cable cards must be bad and he'll return with new ones in the morning. Hmm... okay at least it wasn't the TiVo. They leave and the tech gives me the phone for his supervisor only he's not sure which number is for HIS supervisor and he gives me two numbers to try with the ominous comment of "call my supervisor before calling Comcast if you have any trouble." After they leave I find out my HSI connection is down. Great call the supervisor (first number given was wrong but second works). I get no answer so I leave voice mail and give it a couple of hours. Finally I call Comcast and it seems that when they setup the eMTA they decommissioned my HSI. It was an easy fix once I got to the right person. Mind you it took four people, one disconnected transfer, and having Comcast tell me it was on my end (again my problem). I even went as far as letting the tech walk me through clearing my cookies and cache on my Mac because "it can cause you from not getting a valid IP address." Whatever, I follow the routine but I begin to get irritated after a while. Finally I get transfered to someone who knows what is going on and provisions my cable modem again. Now I have two of the three services but I'm still using DirecTV and my HD TiVo only getting OTA signals. So I take Friday off too.

    Friday they show up with two more M-Cards. This time it's Comcast employees (never did hear back from the contract supervisor). These guys were very helpful and professional but they also strike out with the cable cards. The supervisor runs to the local office a few miles down the road and picks up two more cards. This time one works while the other doesn't. Signal is weak so they swap around some cables to give me a little more signal on the TVs so I can get all the channels but I still get audio drops and pixilation occasionally due to the poor signal. By this time it's close to 5pm on Friday and they ask if they can come back on Monday (do I have a choice?). Okay so we setup a 9am-noon time on Monday and I take another morning off.

    Monday, I call around 11:30 since no one showed up or called and I get a very friendly "they still have 30 minutes" response from the guy on the phone. Okay so I wait. I call at 2:30 and I get apologies but I'm assured that I'm the next stop. I call at 5:30 and I'm treated with more apologies and she'll send an email to my office to find out what happened. I tell her I don't need to know what happened I just want my appointment and service. Still no Comcast HD-DVR for the third outlet. Second TiVo HD has only basic cable now. Primary TiVo HD has all the channels but lots of macro blocking and audio drops due to weak signal.

    Tuesday. No response. Too busy to deal.

    Wednesday I call wondering where the response to the email was? I get more apologies and a promise for an appointment on Thursday. At this point I'm getting irritated since Thursday would make a week. I agree to take another day off and setup an appointment for Thursday morning.

    Thursday morning, "ground hogs day." I get a call from the tech asking what the problem is. I explain and he said "oh, cable card huh? We're out of those. Someone should have said something when setting up the appointment. We're getting more on Monday." He offers to schedule an appointment and I tell him not to bother. I call Comcast to find out how much my service will be without cable TV and request to cancel TV service. She convinces me to give it another try and credits me (we'll see) the lost 10 days of service. I have a Noon-3pm Monday appointment this coming Monday. That HR21 and two year contract are looking good even if I terminate early for FiOS.

    I then get a call from someone local at Comcast about my Noon-3pm Appointment today. Huh? He then notices that it's for Monday but asks what the problem is and I explain. He asks if I have a Series 2 or Series 3 TiVo. I reply TiVo HD. He replies with a puzzled "huh" not sure if he heard me I reply TiVoHD--like a Series 3. To which he tells me that I need two S Cards and the M Cards won't work with both tuners. I explain no, this is the TiVo HD the M-Cards work. Then he said "oh, Series 2 then." Sigh... I give up.

    If you've read this far you either have time on your hands waiting for a call from comcast or should be applauded for your patience. I just want to give yet another testimony on the trials involved with dealing with Comcast. It really shouldn't be this hard. I do a lot of work with process improvement and there are HUGE areas for improvement with this company that it's amazing. It would be so easy for this company to save money by simply fixing some of these issues. There are good people working at comcast but it's clear that the leadership is talented in the skill of incompetence.
  19. bizzy

    bizzy New Member

    Jan 20, 2004
  20. alanronkin

    alanronkin New Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    Hi... I finally gave up on the horrific Comcast with Tivo software after 5 boxes... so now I need to go over what I need to tell comcast.

    They are telling me that I only need the Cablecards (which they want to charge me 5$ for) and I don't need to pay anything else for the HD. Does that jive with other folks experiences in the Massachusetts area?

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