Official Comcast CableCard Thread!

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

  1. May 8, 2012 #8401 of 9385

    sbourgeo Hepcat Daddio

    Nov 10, 2000
    New England


    Ugh, that is why I hate making any changes at Comcast/DirecTV. All I have to do is sneeze and Comcast changes my owned cable modem to a leased one, and even basic programming changes at DirecTV make your grandfathered TiVo lifetime service go *poof*. :mad:
  2. May 8, 2012 #8402 of 9385

    pdhenry Ruthless

    Feb 27, 2005
    You were getting a deal when you were charged the $1.50 for the second card, but you didn't know it. Why did you keep complaining when the billing messups were in your favor?

    Call (or threaten to call) the FCC - you're entitled to the Customer Owned Equipment discount for every TiVo. So 3 TiVos should be 3X $2.50. Of course you should be paying an additional outlet fee of some sort for every one after the first, against which the discount is applied. Normally this is on the order of $8 per additional (digital) outlet - it's what you'd pay for additional digital STBs.

    With two TiVos I had 2 X $2.50 discount applied, but only $1.10 cablecard fee for the second TiVo (no additional outlet fees) when I had full cable (I believe this is an error in my favor). I'm eagerly awaiting the details in my next bill now that I've dropped to limited basic...
  3. May 9, 2012 #8403 of 9385

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2002
    Staunton, VA
    As far as our local franchise pricing goes, they have only given the first cablecard free and additional ones have been $1.75 each ($5.25 for my 2 S3's OLED). They did not originally give us a customer owned discount as the Digital Preferred package did not include a cable box however they recently raised the price of the package a few dollars and at the same time a $2.50 customer owned equipment discount appeared on my bill. No additional outlet charges here so I'm not complaining....

  4. May 9, 2012 #8404 of 9385

    pdhenry Ruthless

    Feb 27, 2005
    I agree, the free cable card + customer-owned discount should only apply for a tier that normally includes a box. But I had the chat person feeling a little intimidated so maybe I'll get everything for free (and I don't think they know how to set the DTA to only give limited basic channels either).
  5. darksurtur

    darksurtur Member

    Jan 2, 2008


    Just a quick question since I am moving and have to do this all again:

    I am ordering an internet + TV package online and was just wanted to double check that I should not have to pay an "HD Service" charge for Digital Starter.
  6. a68oliver

    a68oliver Member

    Jul 15, 2000
    It is my understanding that if you don't have any HD Comcast equipment in your house (HD capable converter or DVR) then there is no HD Service Charge.

    I have two Tivos and don't pay any HD Service Charge.
  7. darksurtur

    darksurtur Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    That's what I thought. Thank you.
  8. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    But that's not guaranteed, a few folks here and on other forums have had that charge added even if all they had were Tivos. Comcast in those areas has claimed it applies anytime you get HD channels.

    I don't have it in the ATL, btw.
  9. darksurtur

    darksurtur Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    Any ideas what areas? I am in DC.
  10. jrm01

    jrm01 New Member

    Oct 17, 2003
    Four months ago I upgraded my TiVo HD to a Premier Elite (love it) and decided to try and just move the m-card from the THD to the Premier without repairing it, since I don't have any premium channels. Everything worked fine for four months, but all of a sudden on Thursday I only had channels 2-20 available to me, all others "not authorized".

    I called the Comcast 800 number to get it fixed, but after 10 minutes on the phone I realized the guy I was talking to had no clue what he was doing. He told me that he sent a pairing hit to the unit, but never had asked me for the host/data numbers. Said he didn't need them. He also told me it would take 30 minutes for it to work.

    I hung up and called the comcast cable card support number (877-405-2298) and got a message that it was no longer available. I had another number (that I probably got somewhere here on this forum) 855-425-9120 and called it. I was told they could not help unless I got a ticket number first. I told him what happened and also said that if he would just give me 90 seconds of his time we could fix this. I had all the info on the screen, and he agreed, inputted the info and we were fixed in 60 seconds.

    My question: What's the story now on the hotline for Comcast? Have they discontinued it?
  11. Merle Corey

    Merle Corey Member

    Aug 25, 2001
    The 877-405-2298 number is definitely still available, I just called it repeatedly to get my new setup going. It does have "business hours" - something like 8am - 1am Eastern.

    I'm just getting back into the TiVo fold for the first time in about 7 years. We "had" to go with Comcast DVRs since 2005 because OnDemand was a deal breaker for my wife and she really didn't want to deal with a pair of semi-redundant boxes. Now that OnDemand access is imminent, she's willing to take the plunge again.

    Our new Premiere arrived yesterday; in anticipation, I'd picked up the cablecard from the local office on Saturday. Plugged it all in, waited for the software update to finish, familiarized myself with the assorted numbers, and called it in to the Comcast hotline. Waited a few minutes for it to ponder existence, but it never validated.

    Called again, explained the lack of validation. Confirmed all the numbers. The tech tried sending the signals again and waited with me to see results. The card definitely got the signal (it reset and reacquired the channel list while we watched), but validation just wouldn't happen. Tech suggested restarting the TiVo, in case something was hinky from just finishing the software upgrade/guided setup.

    The TiVo hung at the "Almost There" screen.

    I let the tech go since I definitely had other issues. Suspecting the software upgrade, I did a kickstart emergency reinstall and let it ponder that overnight.

    This morning I was relieved to see the TiVo was operational again, but disappointed in the continuing lack of validation. Tried calling in and learned about the limited hours of operation.

    Once they finally opened, I called in again. Explained that this was attempt #3, still no validation. Tech purged the existing info on the card and we started from scratch - read off numbers, confirm numbers. Gave it an hour to ponder, still no validation.

    Call #4, the tech read over the history, made a token effort at validating it, then suggested something was probably wrong with the card. He offered to have a truck roll, but the local office is really close - I went and swapped cards.

    Plugged in the new card, prepped the numbers, and made call #5. Immediate validation, everything was working within 10 minutes. If this had happened the first time, I'd have been blissfully ignorant and thinking that such a painless process shouldn't inspire a 280+ page thread. :p

    I'd just like to thank everyone for posting their experiences here. Knowing that I wasn't alone in this joyful experience and knowing that perseverance would eventually pay off is what kept me going.
  12. Davelnlr_

    Davelnlr_ N5GGG

    Jan 12, 2011
    Thank you for that number. After speaking to three people who "sent signals" to my Tivo (which had a new card, and no one ever asked for any of the numbers", I called the number you referenced, and the person actually knew what to ask for. Geeze.

    Thanks again.
  13. LegacyCX

    LegacyCX New Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    I would like to share my experience.

    I recently upgraded from an S2 to a Premiere and stopped by the local Comcast store to pick up an M-Card. I was informed that they didn't have any and that I should call 1-800-Comcast and they would ship one to me.

    When I got home, I called the # and the lady told me she could ship one to me for $9.95. I accepted that. She put me on hold to process the order, but came back and said that they couldn't ship it to me either and that I would need to pay $30 dollars for a tech visit. I explained that was in clear violation of FCC regulations and she agreed to waive the tech fee.

    I called the morning of the appointment to confirm that the tech was bringing an M-Card, and I was assured he was (I bet you know where I'm going with this).

    Low and behold, the tech shows up, and as soon as I open the door, I ask him "Did you bring an M-Card?" and he replies with "A what? No.." and shows me the work order: "Video Upgrade". He was told that I needed help installing a cable box.

    He doesn't understand what a cable card is, or a Tivo, and says to me "Can I see your setup?" So I show him the TiVo and he tells me he'll call his boss to ask for an M-Card. After about 10 minutes, he tells me that his boss is bringing some over and it'll take about 30 minutes. So in the meantime, he'll check my levels and what not. On the outside, he notices that I don't have a gray box covering my cable connections, so he goes ahead and installs one.

    As soon as he is done, his boss shows up with 2 m-cards and hands them to the tech, who promptly hands them to me.

    As we're standing outside, he asks me to sign the work order and I explain to him that I'm not signing anything until I know the Tivo is working. So we go back inside, and I insert the cablecard (meanwhile he's calling dispatch to check my levels) and I dial Comcast on my telephone to pair and hit the cablecards.

    It's a good thing I did my research on cablecard installation. The CSR I spoke with clearly did not know about cablecards. After verifying my identity, I explained to the CSR what I was doing (without mentioning the tech was there - funny thing about that (i'll mention it at the bottom)). The CSR put me on hold, came back and told me everything was setup and that it'll take 2 hours. I asked him "Don't you need the host and cable card #?" and he said "oh yea, can I have that?". So I gave that to him and he reiterated that it would take 2 hours. I questioned the 2 hour and he insisted it would be 2 hours. I thanked him and got off the phone (had him on speaker).

    I looked at the tech and begged him to please call dispatch or someone to help activate the card for me. He immediately dialed some #, spoke with a rep, gave them the card information off the screen, and 5 minutes later I had my cablecard activated and channels coming in.

    I don't fault the tech for not knowing -- at least he wasn't arrogant and let me do my thing.

    ** Funny note: I had the CSR on speaker phone and while on hold, it the system said "We see you have an appointment today, and that the tech did not show up. We're sorry about that". The tech looked at me and laughed -- I hope he didn't get in trouble!
  14. billbillw

    billbillw Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Well, after 3 years of blissful OTA only usage on my two TivoHD (actually, one is an S3 OLED) boxes, I think I am going to have to use Comcast at our new house. The house is in the broadcast shadow of a mountain and there are too many trees for satellite reception.

    I'm in the Atlanta area. Can anyone answer a couple questions? I am looking at the Digital Starter package and using cablecards with my Tivos.

    What type of fees should I expect in addition to the listed rate? Does Comcast charge HD technology fee when using TivoHD and cable cards? Do they charge for the additional outlet?
  15. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    Whatever they think they can get away with.

    They haven't so far with me. I have a THD and a Premiere.

    Yes. But you should also get a $2.50/mo "Customer owned equipment credit" for each TiVo.
  16. pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

    Feb 27, 2005
    Sometimes you can get them to charge only the $1.50 additional cable card fee, combined with the $2.50 customer owned equipment credit, which means that they pay you to take the second cable card. But you probably shouldn't count on that pricing plan... :)
  17. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    Information from a site other than the Atlanta area is not relevant to the specific question about charges in the Atlanta area. Every Comcast site has its own policies. In particular, the official rate sheet here has a charge of $0 for the first CableCARD in a device.
  18. pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

    Feb 27, 2005

    What's on the official rate sheet is not always what they charge. Sometimes it works out in your favor. My response was relative to the fee for the second device. Sometimes it's what's on the sheet, sometimes it's what I've said.

    BTW, is "whatever they think they can charge" also on the official rate sheet? Or are you exempt from fact-checking?
  19. lpwcomp

    lpwcomp Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    The fact is that I actually wrote "whatever they can get away with". By that I meant that they have been known to put bogus charges on an account and are reluctant to give the $2.50/mo credit. It sometimes takes monthly calls for several months in a row to get things straightened out. I have yet to receive any valid justification for the "Additional Digital Outlet" charge when I'm using my own equipment.

    The $0 charge on their rate sheet applies to the first card in a device, not just the first card on the account. The only time a TiVo user in Atlanta should be charged for a CableCARD is if he has an original Series 3 that requires 2. They are required by FCC regulations to specifically state what their charges are for a CableCARD. While they do walk a fine line with some of their charges and it is debatable about their legality, they are currently in compliance with that particular regulation.

    Each Comcast operating unit acts as its own little fiefdom. There are few nationally enforced policies and none regarding charges. And more than 9-months since the CableCARD self install mandate went into effect and more than a year since they knew it was coming, the process is rarely smooth.

    I'm happy for you that you actually get a net reduction in your monthly cable charges by having TiVos but your experience is far from typical. I would possibly add that they may someday reconcile that and end up overcharging you just like the rest of us, but they're so freakin' incompetent that you will likely continue in your current situation. I hope you do. Just avoid any confrontations that might prompt them to look at your account.;)
  20. dianebrat

    dianebrat wait.. I did what? TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Not a huge surprise, but I recently helped my Dad set up a Tivo with a self-install CableCARD and it was the expected failure I warned him about.

    We picked up the card, installed it, got the numbers, called in to the rep who said "all set" and it never got past Acquiring Channels, even after him calling back 2 days later, so they sent out a tech a few days later.

    Tech's diagnoses? they screwed up the activation in the Comcast side, the rep entered the data correctly but didn't perform all the right steps so the final section of steps was missed.

    WTG Comcast, let me say I don't miss them at all.

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