Xfinity our only option (relocating)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by igirl, Mar 14, 2020.

  1. igirl

    igirl Member

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    There's only 1 cable provider in our new location (Manteca, CA) and it's Xfinity.

    Looking at their site - Wondering what's going on here - TiVo Series 3 Compatibility with Xfinity TV – Xfinity
    Are they fools - or can I not record SIX channels with my Roamio Pro as normal?

    "You’ll need one CableCARD to record one HD digital channel; you’ll need two CableCARDs to record two HD digital channels simultaneously."

    Under this theory I would need six cablecards!

    Do they use tuning adapters?
    Do they charge for a cable box rental? (not needed with a Tivo)

    Any advice for dealing with them? We only plan on a basic TV lineup of ~140 channels (no premier channels) and only do streaming apps on Apple TV. The Apple TV is also our media server front end. (I also have a Firestick 4K in the box waiting to tinker with later) and begrudgingly a Roku for things no one else streams though the UI is so horrible we don't ever use it.

    A secondary question - do they charge for a modem or router - and can one use their own and refuse a "rental"? We never rent equipment from cable companies unless absolutely required. (cablecard for instance)
     
  2. KevTech

    KevTech Active Member

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    Roamio is series 5.
     
  3. morac

    morac Cat God TCF Club

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    Your Roamio Pro only needs 1 CableCard. It needs to be an M-Card. I don’t know if Comcast even has S-cards anymore, but I thought I’d mention it.

    Information on how to obtain, install, activate and pair the cards are available at Pair or Activate Your CableCARD - Self-Installation Setup – Xfinity

    You should be able to pair your cards via the web site, but that doesn’t always work in which case you’ll have to call them. Last time I had to do so they seemed fairly competent, but that was years ago.

    Comcast charges a rental fee for any equipment you get from them, be it a cable mode, modem or router. You are free to use your own as long as it is compatible with their system. See Device Info - Xfinity

    Note that most TV packages include the box rental fee in which case you’ll get a credit for that amount per month.

    Comcast doesn’t use tuning adapters.

    Finally I’ll mention that Comcast throws on extra fees such as a broadcast and local sports fee on all packages. In my area that’s around $25. Some areas still also have a HD fee which is about $9. You shouldn’t be charged that. Most TV packages now include HD (finally).
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  4. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    The time of needing multiple single-stream cards in old TiVo series 3 boxes is long past. We have a Roamio Pro with an Xfinity CableCard here, able to use all six tuners at the same time. I've also set up an HD HomeRun Prime here, again requiring only one Xfinity CableCard for all the tuners in that one.

    When you get your CableCard, pair it to your Roamio using cablecardactivation.xsp.comcast.net and if you have any difficulty then call their CableCard hotline, 1-877-405-2298.
     
  5. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    But in return my area is now giving a $10 credit for using cablecard, offsetting some of that. Seen this reported elsewhere too. Hopefully in Sept. when the Comcast RSN contracts expire they will either move them to the sports tier or tell the RSNs that they're not going to get the money they've been getting, then reducing or eliminating the fee.

    Not that I think this will happen, just a hope.
     
  6. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Do you have 2 CableCards? I think the rate changes that I saw were for the COE to go to $5 for each CableCard.

    Scott
     
  7. ThreeSoFar'sBro

    ThreeSoFar'sBro Sports Nut

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    I moved 4 months ago and changed to Xfinity. I have 2 cablecards and pay nothing for either. I have tv, phone, and internet.
     
  8. igirl

    igirl Member

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    Thanks I missed the fact they were talking about older Tivos on this particular link. Good to know there are no tuning adapters - we had them with spectrum and they were always losing their signal and had to be unplugged.

    Other info offered about their service was helpful - thanks!
     
  9. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    No, but I'm getting $10 for one.
     
  10. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Xfinity briefly raised the card fees last year, but got beat back by regulators. I pay $9.95 for a second M-card. The first one is included in the basic rate. (I also get a $10 discount for owning my modem.)
     
  11. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    OUCH.. it seems they are getting a DVR fee in a $10.00 cable card fee. Spectrum charges me $3.00 a month. Seems with a $10.00 cable card fee and a possible monthly charge of $10.00 from TiVo.. might cost more than a charge for a cable DVR box. Not as nice as a TiVo.. but probably would cost less.

    I like my TiVo, but if Spectrum would give me a dvr with 4-6 tuners, that would work on any tv in my house, I would look at dumping TiVo. Spectrum in my area is still using an OLD DVR with 2 tuners and a very small hard drive. Online DVR's will come before new home DVR's at Spectrum.

    One plus.... The local DVR box does not have ads....
     
  12. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    If you will pardon the semantics:), that $9.95 is NOT a CableCARD fee but rather the charge for digital service to an additional outlet (Comcast does not charge a CableCARD fee at all in the most current pricing structure as shown below).

    And the $9.95 will be partially offset by the Customer Owned Equipment (COE) credit of either $2.50 or, as of a recent change, $5.00 in recognition of supplying your own device in lieu of the Comcast rental gear.

    Comcast CableCARD.png
     
  13. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    True. The bill says:
    A rose by any other name. I think they would break the card out and charge more if they could.

    My only Customer Owned Equipment credit is $10 for the modem, though the bill no longer clearly says what that's for. I forgot about the possible $2.50 COE credit until you mentioned it. Each time I've asked about that in the past, the reps have said adding it would mess up another discount I have grandfathered in.

    Cable monopolies are not fun to deal with, and our monthly bill is not small. But cord-cutting would only save us about $20 because we want cable news and talk, so for now we have cable and OTA and streaming.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  14. mahermusic

    mahermusic Deadlines Amuse Me

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    We used to have the OLED Series 3 TiVo with Xfinity... the one which two cablecards were REQUIRED. We had two "S" cards, but having an "M" card wouldn't matter.... you still needed two cards to make that particular TiVo work properly.

    Matter of fact, Xfinity used to place a notation on their pricing sheet regarding the first card free, and ONLY IF you needed a 2nd card IN THE SAME DEVICE.... it was also free. When the installer first came out, he made sure that we had such a device, so that we received the 2 cards at no cost.
     
  15. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    No he indicated that he's getting a COE credit of $10.00 for 1 CableCARD where I would have expected only $5.00 based on the our last rate chart update.

    Scott
     
  16. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    Thanks Scott.....
     
  17. igirl

    igirl Member

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    Thanks all of this is helpful - still trying to get a picture of what the setup will be and what extra costs they are going to try to push and what I can avoid.

    There was something listed "X1 TV box separate" - I have no idea what an X1 is - of course we do not want their DVR or modem - I assume we can refuse it? (plan we are considering)
    If X1 is a cable box - we kind of already have a 6 tuner box with Tivo - so any cable box - no X1 should be required? Someone already said no tuning adapter - so it's cable in from wall straight to the Tivo?

    I've already bought a modem (SB8200) to stop that rental.

    Another cost - From their site - 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee applies to one month’s recurring service and standard installation charges up to $500 -
    Well $500 is insane.
    I've never once ever paid anything to get cable TV installed and running in a new house so this is all news to me. If there were any other choice I'd pass on paying for the privilege of allowing them to sink their hooks in and bill us monthly for many years to come. :p
     
  18. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    @igirl the X1 is their cable box, which you can refuse. Usually that results in the $2.50 COE credit we were discussing above. I think my credit for owning my own modem is grandfathered, while you are likely to instead just see that charge reduced to $0.

    The last time I helped someone get connected, Xfinity tried to charge approximately $50 less a $25 discount for the video install, and another $50 less $25 discount for the Internet install. Then we called up to complain, and got the remaining $50 credited. That all-too-common confusion was because (a) they had to pull a cable into the house for the first time, and (b) the reps on the phone often know nothing and none of what they promise gets communicated to the installers.

    Installing more outlets would be at additional cost, but if those are already installed by the previous residents or you have done that yourself then sometimes the installer just ignores them. Now that you don't need installers to "help" pair CableCARDs, that part of the installation is free and easy.
     
  19. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    X1 refers to Comcast's proprietary user experience system. For more information see here. The X1 TV box (whether DVR or headless client) is a digital set-top box that you would rent from Comcast. The typical monthly charge is $5.00 per box, but it could be higher on some older billing systems. And, depending on your service package, the physical DVR (in addition to basic cloud DVR service) could add another $10.00 fee. Again, much depends on which type of package you subscribe to and where you are located since offers and pricing will vary throughout Comcast's retail footprint (although they are moving to standardize their entire system under the rubric "Simple & Easy").

    Note that your link above will not show us the specific plan you are considering unless we happen to be located in the same service area as you. However, I have looked at the plans currently being offered in Manteca, CA (zip 95336), and I see X1 Saver Pro+ Double Play as well as X1 Starter Pro+ Double Play, among others. Is one of these what you are looking at?

    All of the above is correct. You do not have to accept either the cable box or gateway (modem + router) rental from Comcast. But you will require a Comcast multistream CableCARD, which should be provided to you free of charge upon request. You will also be entitled to a $5.00 (previously $2.50) customer-owned equipment (COE) credit.

    That model, which is DOCSIS 3.1 compatible, should serve your purpose for any Comcast HSI service tier up to 1Gigabit. Once you have established a Comcast account, you can check any retail model's compatibility with your Comcast service (which will depend on your speed tier) here. To save you some trouble I am attaching the compatibility info on the Arris SB8200 below:

    Comcast Retail Modem.png

    Note that the SB8200 is not VoIP-capable. If you were considering getting this service from Comcast you would need to look for a different modem. And, of course, you will require a separate router to pair with the modem. Most of Comcast's current rental gateways (models XB3/6/7) consist of a combined modem and router as well as a MoCA adapter, all in one unit for a monthly fee of $14 (plus tax).

    That blurb is simply saying that they will limit their refund guarantee to not more than $500.

    You should be able to avoid any installation charges by electing a free self-install kit; otherwise, I believe installation service by a technician will run you $90.00 depending on which service bundle you select (some deals include free professional installation).

    In terms of "extra costs" (above and beyond the monthly service charge for TV and HSI, you should be looking at a total somewhere between $25 and $35 aside from any rental fees or VoIP-related fees. This includes (specific to your location) a $13.90 Broadcast TV Fee, a $8.00 Regional Sports Fee, and assorted regulatory fees and taxes.

    I recently helped my sister to set up her Comcast service in nearby Livermore, CA. She opted for the X1 Premier Pro Triple Play with HBO bundle plus Xfinity Mobile cellular service, which I assume is more than you need or want. But much of her experience is applicable to what you will be dealing with, so feel free to continue to post your questions and we will attempt to address them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  20. igirl

    igirl Member

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    Super helpful! Since it is a new construction resale (not lived in) we don't know if the street to house cable was ever connected - probably not. It may not be as simple as switching it on. Unless the monthly cost for adding extra outlets is very low we will probably just do an OTA Tivo and share a tuner via WLAN off of the main one for additional channels or streaming. So in all likelihood - just one outlet. The "extra" costs like broadcast, sports, taxes etc - junk fees are unavoidable - it's just the unnecessary ones we are watching out for. :) Discounts for installs sounds good if we can figure out how to get them!
     

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