Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. Sep 14, 2006 #41 of 9385

    IJustLikeTivo Active Member

    Oct 3, 2001


    In SOME ways? As far as I can tell from this thread and others on Comcast, they're not the least bit integrated. Frankly, I can't understand the economics of having to keep a zillion different pricing schemes active.

    This issue alone is almost enough to keep me from buying a series three and dropping D*. I do admit they have inconsistant customer retention policies but what you buy generally costs the same no matter where you are.
  2. Sep 14, 2006 #42 of 9385

    jhurlbut Make the S3 Work!

    Sep 1, 2005
    Puyallup, WA
    I tried finding a local number for one of their local offices (Tacoma or Auburn) but could only find the 1-800 number. Maybe I'll just pop by tomorrow and see if I can fenagle a couple of cable cards from them. :)
  3. Sep 14, 2006 #43 of 9385

    jhurlbut Make the S3 Work!

    Sep 1, 2005
    Puyallup, WA
    From what I understand, cablecards are cablecards. Their aren't any specific to TV's or DVR's. When I called yesterday and told the lady on the phone that I needed two for my new TiVo, she didn't even flinch, just set the appointment. I guess it just goes to show you, if you don't get the answer you want when you call the first time, hang up and call back. They used to say that if you put a thousand monkeys in front of a thousand keyboards, they'd eventually re-create the works of William Shakespear. Well, I think they formed cable companies instead. :D
  4. Sep 14, 2006 #44 of 9385

    sharding Member

    Feb 11, 2001
    Did you ask on the phone if you can pick them up? I asked that when I first got my Comcast DVR, and they said, "no problem." At least when I call, the callcenter I get is in Everett (I think), and they at least roughly know what's going on at the local stores (though they claimed to have no way to find out if they actually have things in stock).

    They basically told me that I can do pretty much anything equipment-related by coming in to the office instead of having a tech come. And, while I'm not a big Comcast fan, I have to give credit where it is due: they've always been friendly and helpful when I've gone in.

    I'm not sure if the South Sound market is any different, though.
  5. Sep 14, 2006 #45 of 9385

    sharding Member

    Feb 11, 2001


    Heh. Clearly the guy I talked to at the Bellevue BestBuy was wrong about the timing (he said none of the area stores would have them for a week or a week and a half). I wonder if Bellevue has them now too. The online availability thing still says "unavailable" for SouthCenter and every other BB in the area.

    I guess tonight I may have to try to make a trip south. Unfortunately, I have a whole bunch of other stuff going on, so I'm not sure I'll have time.

    Thanks very much for sharing this report!
  6. Sep 14, 2006 #46 of 9385

    gillrock New Member

    Oct 28, 2004
    Boston, MA
    My advice, call Comcast back and talk to a different person, or just stop by your local office. I work for a local Boston area company that is "in the know" of lots of things Comcast. CableCards are supposed to be free and the install is supposed to $5 from Comcast.
  7. Sep 14, 2006 #47 of 9385
    Pab Sungenis

    Pab Sungenis Member

    Apr 13, 2002
    Vineland, NJ
    Wow, and I thought all my days of "CSR Roulette" would end if I left DirecTV. :)

    One thing that might explain the different policies: I remember years ago our local cable company was actually a franchise, subject to corporate policy but otherwise locally owned and operated. Our franchise owner was an idiot, and I actually cited him as the reason we switched to DirecTV.

    I don't know if Comcast has changed things since then, or if they're still a bunch of little independent fiefdoms, but if they are and haven't set a corporate-level CableCARD policy, that would explain the incredible disparity.
  8. Sep 14, 2006 #48 of 9385
    Rob Helmerichs

    Rob Helmerichs I am Groot! TCF Club

    Oct 17, 2000
    Our local Comcast was recently Time-Warner, and apparently they haven't gotten the memo yet (their web site is still under Time-Warner, and if you go to Comcast's web site and put in your Minneapolis ZIP Code, it says that this is not an area they service). So I'm guessing that they have yet to adopt Comcast's corporate culture, unless Comcast's corporate culture involves complete cluelessness...
  9. Sep 14, 2006 #49 of 9385

    SLCMike New Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    As my S3 is officially in transit (should arrive Saturday or Monday) I thought that it would be advisable to attempt getting some CC's before it actually arrived. I'm fortunate to live fairly close to a Comcast office (1350 East Miller Ave.) here in Salt Lake City and as such headed there today at lunch. I figured at worst the outcome of my visit would result in having wasted my time scheduling an "install" in person.

    Based on reading some of the other CC threads here, I feel very lucky. I can say in no uncertain terms that it was an absolute breeze getting my 2 CC's. I was in and out of the Comcast office (minus standing in line) in less than 5 minutes. The employee helping me out was extremely nice, seemed to know exactly what CC's were and everything else. He even explained that I wouldn't have access to PPV, their online guide and that I would have to call after installing the cards to have them activated. He even gave me a sheet with the phone number that I needed to call for the CC activation, etc.... (I knew all of that, but nevertheless, he was clearly very aware of how CC installations work.)

    In short, there appears to be no fee whatsoever for the cards amazingly enough. (For now I am keeping our current STB in case there is some problem getting the S3 setup and working properly. If all goes well, I'll be returning that and saving some money!) There was definitely no extra outlet fee for the second card as I briefly explained that both CC's were going in the same "TV." I will confirm all of this and report back when I get my next bill.

    This is just my personal take on the situation, but my advice would be not to bother mentioning that the cards are "for your TiVo" if at all possible. I think it potentially adds unnecessary confusion to the situation. It also seems to me that if you can manage it, going to a Comcast office in person gives you a much better chance of getting your cards sans installation fees, avoiding hassles with poorly informed CSR's and the like.

    Anyway... That is my story from here in SLC, Utah. Good luck to the rest of you Comcast customers getting your CC's. I'm excited to post a review of my S3 when I actually have it hooked up and running. Had I known getting the CC's was going to go so smoothly, I'd have splurged for the next day shipping!
  10. Sep 14, 2006 #50 of 9385

    southerndoc TiVo Fanatic TCF Club

    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    New Haven, CT:

    First CableCard: Free
    Second CableCard: $2.95/mo
    Installation (both): $14.95 (he set it up as an HDTV upgrade installation instead of CableCard installation)

    No fuss over the Tivo Series 3. The guy actually said he was waiting for his to arrive! He searched for about 10 minutes trying to find a special code to see if he could get the second card free, but no luck. No pressure to upgrade from Digital Plus to Silver, Gold, etc., and no pressure at all to get the Comcast DVR.

    Can't wait to finally make use of my HDTV!
  11. Sep 14, 2006 #51 of 9385

    rshrieve New Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    San Francisco

    I am in San Francisco too. Would you mind telling what phone number you used to get a local CSR? I only have the nation-wide 800#.

  12. Sep 14, 2006 #52 of 9385

    mbobak New Member

    May 23, 2004
    Belleville, MI
    Can't believe the variation in pricing that folks are reporting!

    If you paid anything at all for your CableCard(s) from ComCast, you may want to check this out:

    So far, I'm on an HR10-250 w/ D*, but when it dies, I'm looking to jump to an S3 and ComCast. So, I'm just trying to get an idea if CC is available from ComCast, (apparently yes) and whether it works with S3 (also apparently yes).

    I'm hoping that by the time my HR10-250 dies, the price of the S3 will drop a bit....

  13. Sep 14, 2006 #53 of 9385

    bwherry New Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    Or Confused

    I spoke with Comcast in Denver today (Rob in Technical Support/Sales Support) and was told that the cards are free. I can pick them for a "digital self install" at no charge. The full HD package with HBO/Starz was 85/month (plus all the other HD and std channgels)...

    so I then said: its just 85/month total? their answer was no. There is a service fee of 9.95 for each card per month. so add 19.90/month.

    So my question now is whether the charges for cable cards were negotiated by Comcast with each Metropolitan entity as a part of their overall agreeement for the service they provided to each area....

    anyone have any ideas?
  14. Sep 14, 2006 #54 of 9385

    ron2go New Member

    Feb 24, 2002
    Woodbridge, VA
    I called comcast locally and nationally and was told that the cards will not work in the series 3 for my area which is Woodbridge VA. Tivo said that is not correct and will try to help when our series 3 arrives. Has any one else tried from this area?
  15. Sep 14, 2006 #55 of 9385

    Gregor Wear Your Mask! TCF Club

    Feb 18, 2002
    That certainly sounds plausible, given all the different quotes and charges. Mine in PA is a free install, and $5 per month per card, which I suspect is an additional outlet fee.
  16. Sep 14, 2006 #56 of 9385

    HomieG Nowhere Man...

    Feb 17, 2003
    Don't know if this is true for all areas, but I've read my local municipality agreement with Comcast. Here the fees are set and on-file with the FCC. In fact the local agreement defers to the FCC rates for all rate issues. YMMV.
  17. Sep 14, 2006 #57 of 9385

    rshrieve New Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    San Francisco
  18. Sep 14, 2006 #58 of 9385

    gostan Member

    Oct 6, 2002
    I am a DirecTV user with an HDR10-250 and I just ordered Comcast service in Sudbury, West of Boston. My Series 3 (via CC) will be delivered Monday and Comcast will be installed Wednesday.

    I took advantage of the cable-dish give back and I will give Comcast a 9 year old RCA DirecTV receiver and get a $25 per month service credit. For a bit, I will keep and compare the PQ on the two services.

    I have an Anthem D2 pre pro and as my friend ManWithA Plan has indicated on AVS:
    So, I have two cablecards coming with the first free and the second $2.75 per month. I will have full Platinum and 4 HD movie channels and I will be paying a good deal less than DTV with 2 HD movie channels (for up to 16 months if I keep the Comcast service) And now my wife will stop giving me s_ _t when there is no pixelization on Fox.
  19. Sep 14, 2006 #59 of 9385

    g808 Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    I went down to the local Comcast office yesterday and the person told me CableCARDS are available only by technician visit, which costs $16.95 w/ no charge for the cards.

    I called to setup an appointment today, and I was told installation would be $18.95 + $5 for HD service + $6.95 for the 2nd CableCARD. I can let the install fee slide, and even the 2nd card charge since their FAQ states a possible additional outlet fee for it. However, I'm going to fight the $5 HD service fee. I'm already paying for digital cable service, so it should come with that. Even their FAQ states this. Interestingly though, the CS rep asked if this was for the TiVo S3. They much be getting a bunch of calls on this in my area (San Jose, CA).

    Anyway, install is setup for 9/20! I'm a new TiVo user (been waiting for the S3), and am very excited. I got it all setup with my analog cable right now.
  20. Sep 14, 2006 #60 of 9385

    bwherry New Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    I'm even more perplexed now. Following what others have done I just called 1-800-comcast instead of the denver number I called earlier today. I told the CSR that I have 1 TV and that it is an HD TV that can take two cable cards and was interested in HD service and asked simply how much would the service cost for HD and HBO with two cable cards and no box.

    She said

    2 Cable cards on one outlet would be free.

    I asked if there were any one time or monthly fees.

    She said

    No one time or monthly fees they are free.

    She even mentioned this is on the website but she didn't know where.

    They are currently running a promotion for Digital Service with all the HD channels and HBO/Starz for 49.99. I told her I have DTV and she said there is another promotion for it at 39.99/month for the whole year if I can prove I have DTV. In the second year the price is 79.99/month but that Comcast runs at least two HD promotions every year and I can switch to those promotions at any time.

    Regarding installation she said there is no self-install. The techs have to come out and install the cards in the TV and activate them.

    I asked how much the install would be and she said

    the install fee is waived for both of the HD promotions comcast is running.

    How many different ways are there that can I buy the same thing for the same street address from the same company?

    The CSR was very nice and reminded me that I would not have the digital guide, nor would I have access to any PPV channels.

    If this is really the truth I shall order an S3 from Tivo and transfer my lifetime sub from my SVR-2000.

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