Which Service Options for Comcast?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TaterTot24, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    First off, I just wanted to say that I am slowly making my way through the "Official Comcast CableCard Thread!", but I have still not came upon the information that I am looking for.

    As of right now, I have only basic cable with Comcast (ie. no boxes of any kind -- just plain cable coming out of the wall).

    I just recieved my TiVo HD and I was wondering what service I would need to upgrade to in order to get the Cable Cards. That is assuming that I need to upgrade, correct?

    What is the best thing for me to do as far as switching programming packages?


    Also, do I also need to add the Comcast "HDTV Package" that cost $7.95 in order to get HD channels?

    I though I saw a post at some point that said that these came automatically with the cable cards.

    Are there some that come with the cable cards and then some that come with the $7.95 pacakage.....I have no idea....


    Thank you in advance for your replies!
     
  2. jaredmwright

    jaredmwright Member

    279
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    Sep 5, 2004
    Bay Area
    I live in the Bay Area and only subscribe to basic cable and I currently have two cable cards. The first one is free, but the seconds costs $1.50/month. I don't have extended basic or anything else, just standard cable. I get all of the same statoins as OTA in HD which is fine for me. If you want stations like ESPNHD or MTVHD you will have to subscribe to their next level of service. I have had this since last November. I don't know about the HD Package for $7.95, but I don't pay for that.
     
  3. mathwhiz

    mathwhiz Member

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    May 28, 2000
    Okemos, MI, USA
    I also have just basic cable, not expanded, extended, enhanced or anything. Just the networks and PEG channels pretty much. I have 2 cable cards on my account for free and I get the local networks in HD. I used to get the music channels too, but with the music channel line up change they pulled those. I randomly get a digital channel here or there, but not because I should.
     
  4. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    So if I just pay for Basic Cable, then I should just get all the local channels that broadcast in HD for free (with the cable cards)?

    In order to get like Discovery & TNT in HD, then I would have to pay the for the HDTV programming package?


    Is all of this correct?

    There is no need for any of the Digital Cable Packages, that is awesome!!
     
  5. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
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    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    You do not need the HDTV package in any case.

    Other than the OTA stations, you aren't entitled to any of the HD channels if you don't have a package that contains the SD version. If you want DHD, you'll most likely have to upgrade to a digital package BUT you won't need the "HDTV package".

    With basic cable and CableCARD(s), you will get the digital versions of your basic cable channels (assuming your cable company uses ADS) and the digital versions of your local stations (e.g. mostly HD in prime time).
     
  6. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN

    Well that seems to answer my question...

    Every channel that I get in SD, I should also get in HD with basic cable and the cable cards. That is awesome! I was afraid that my cable bill was going to sky rocket....


    But why do they even have the HD package?


    Can anyone else validate what jfh3 is saying (no offense)?
     
  7. inaka

    inaka Well-Known Member

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    6,713
    Nov 26, 2001
    For Monday Night Football and NFL Network in HD. :D
     
  8. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Comcast does NOT have a HD package (as in HD service). $7.95 is a HD set top box rental charge, which you don't need and should not pay. Many customers are mistakenly charged that fee for CableCards. That $7.95 fee does not give you any channels you don't already receiver otherwise. For channels such as Discover-HD, ESPN-HD, etc., you have to subscribe to at least Digital Classic, which is around $12.
     
  9. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    4,471
    2
    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    And yet many CSRs will insist that you need the HDTV package. :)

    I expanded on this issue in another thread - in addition to the set top box rental, the HDTV package just sets a "the account can receive digital programming" flag, the same flag that gets set when you add a CableCARD.

    You don't have to believe me - just don't order the package - what have you got to lose? You can always add it later, but getting it removed after it's already on your account is quite difficult.
     
  10. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    This sounds like this is contradictory to what jfh3 said about if you get the channel in SD then you get it in HD. I have basic cable and I get Discovery and ESPN so should I expect to receive them or not...



    I just want to make sure when I get the tech to install the cable cards, that I get all the channels that I am suppose to receive.

    I do not want the tech to leave and then a couple of days later figure out that I am not receiving the appropiate channels and there was something wrong with the cable cards.

    I just want to have an idea of what to expect, so I know that everything is working correctly...
     
  11. tmesser

    tmesser Member

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    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    If you do not have Digital Classic or higher, you will not get ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, Discovery HD Theater, etc.
     
  12. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

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    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    That is twice that Digital Classic was mentioned, but I don't see a Digital Classic package listed at Comcast's website HERE....

    There is:
    • Digital Starter -- $49.95
    • Digital Preferred -- $60.64
    • Digital Premier -- $92.99


    Sorry for all the questions, just trying to make sure I have everything straight...


    Does anyone else have anymore input? It seems 2 out of 3 say that I need some sort of Digital Package (that I cannot find) in order to get all the HD channels...
     
  13. c3

    c3 TiVoholic

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    Sep 8, 2000
    Silicon...
    Check your January statement. It should have a price sheet with all options available, as well as channels included in different levels of services.

    I'm absolutely sure about the Digital Classic requirement to get Discovery-HD, etc., unless those channels are not encrypted in your area.
     
  14. tmesser

    tmesser Member

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    Apr 12, 2003
    Naperville, IL
    Some people in the Comcast CableCARD thread have said that they cannot find Digital Classic online, but they have been able to order it by calling Comcast. Digital Preferred costs a few bucks more than Classic and gives you some additional SD channels (like Fox Reality, SoapNet and The Biography Channel), but the minimum required to get the HD channels you're asking about is Digital Classic. I, too, am absolutely certain of this.

    On the Comcast Web site, take a look at the channel lineup for your area. At the bottom of the page, a statement similar to this should appear:

    Channels 173, 174, 179, 181, and 199-209 are available with Digital Classic and HDTV equipment. A subscription to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax or Starz is required to receive their HD channels.

    In my area, the HD channels on those numbers are as follows:

    173 ESPN HD
    174 MOJO
    179 HGTV HD
    181 Food Network HD
    199 Versus/Golf HD
    200 Comcast SportsNet HDTV
    203 ESPN2 HD
    204 TNT in HD
    205 Discovery HD Theater
    206 National Geographic HD
    207 Universal HD
    208 A&E HD
    209 MHD
     
  15. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

    53
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    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    Well, no luck here....

    I found a subscription card that they handed out a couple of months ago with all the different packages and there was no Digital Classic.

    So I decided to call and ask someone at Comcast. They told me that they have no idea what I was talking about and proceeded to list the packages that I mentioned earlier in this thread. I then explained to them that the Digital Classic package maybe something that only they can do over the phone, so she decided to put me on hold while she asked someone else. Then she came back on the phone and said "Sorry we do not offer a cable package by that name".


    In Response to tmesser
    There is no statemet like you described at the bottom of any of the pages where the channel lineups are listed. Take a look for yourself... I used an area code of 38134.
     
  16. PaulSTC

    PaulSTC New Member

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    Sep 30, 2007
    I recently gave back my Motorola boxes to Comcast and told them I only wanted Antenna service. I've got a "Cable" coax input on my Sony TV and I'm having no trouble getting both the old analog and HD versions of my locals. I'm getting other digital channels as well that seemed to have slipped through the cracks. Since I'm not subscribed to premium channels do I really need to get cable cards at all? Does the Tivo unit have tuners similar to my television already integrated within it?

    Thanks

    Paul
     
  17. cr33p

    cr33p New Member

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    Jan 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor MI
    I had a similar problem with comcast when I got my HD service set up, their website still has digital classic listed and they do not offer that package any longer it has since been replaced by the digital started package, BUT the digital starter package does not include DHD, TNTHD, MTVHD, etc etc etc. I found that out the hard way, you have to be in the next package up from the digital starter. I just wish they would update their damn web page, its very misleading.
     
  18. drdarren

    drdarren New Member

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    May 15, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    i am in florida and comcast has recently changed its pricing policy. they tell me they no longer charge for rental of the equipment but for usage. i have an S3 and i also have a box from comcast which i wanted to replace with another S3 but they are telling me i will be paying more for two additional cablecards than what i am paying for the box from them. they are telling me they want $6.50 for each additional card and that i have to take digital and hd service.i am thinking about switching to OTA only.
     
  19. ewilts

    ewilts Who, me?

    1,005
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    Feb 26, 2002
    Mounds View, MN
    In order to get the CableCARDs, you need some level of digital service. I have Digital Classic which is the cheapest available in this area. So, yes, your bill will skyrocket from probably $13 per month to $45-50 per month.

    With a subscription to a digital package, you're entitled to a single CableCARD (this is in lieu of getting a box). The 2nd CableCARD will cost you another $1.50 per month - the TiVos require 2 CableCARDs.

    Around here, there is no "HDTV Package". All of the HD equivalents of your SD lineup will be available at no extra charge - that's all of your locals. Since Digital Classic is a superset of the SD extended cable package, you'll now have TNT HD, ESPN HD, Discovery HD, Golv/VS, and whatever channels are available in your area (the specific lineups vary in different parts of the country). You won't get any of the premium sports or movie channels unless you also subscribe to the SD equivalents.

    You also have the alternative of keeping your locals via basic analog cable and adding an antenna for the local OTA (Over-The-Air) digital (including HD) broadcasts. Many people can receive these with inexpensive antennas, including $5 rabbit ears.
     
  20. TaterTot24

    TaterTot24 TiVo Addict!

    53
    0
    Aug 26, 2007
    Memphis, TN
    I now realize that the Comcast cable packages can vary depending on the region, so in order for me to avoid any more confusion I have put up a couple of screen shots of the packages that the Memphis based Comcast division provides.

    I know that many people are just recommending that I just get the Digital Classic package, but after I have contacted Comcast twice about this package – I have been told that they do not have it anymore. Therefore I must pick between the ones listed here…

    My end goal is to have all the local channels in HD plus ones like TNT HD, Discovery HD, National Geographic HD at the cheapest possible monthly cost.

    An antenna is not an option for me and I need the cheapest package that will allow me to reach my goal. I know that in order to receive the premium movie channels in HD that I must subscribe to them normally…

    I am guessing that my best bet would be just the Digital Starter package, which is only an increase from $44.69 (Basic Cable) to $49.99. That would not be that big of a deal, but it I was forced to go to the Digital Preferred at $60.64, then I am not sure.

    The following screen shots are the packages offered by the Comcast in my area…


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    The channels that I would like are listed here in this screen shot of Comcast’s website under the channel lineup webpage.


    [​IMG]
     

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