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Time Warner Houston was changed over to Comcast last month. I got my first bill from Comcast - no charge for my cable cards - although they were only $1.75 each per month before...

Anyone else in the area had this happen? Astrohip? Rossman? Tubbs?

Jim
 

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If this is your first bill from them, don't celebrate yet. Comcast has a habit of "forgetting" to include some charges for 1-2 months, then catching up on it later. Every time I change my service level with Comcast it takes 3 months to get a stable bill without prior adjustmants.
 

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jmace57 said:
Time Warner Houston was changed over to Comcast last month. I got my first bill from Comcast - no charge for my cable cards - although they were only $1.75 each per month before...

Anyone else in the area had this happen? Astrohip? Rossman? Tubbs?

Jim
This would be good news. My bill should be in a couple of days, I'll check.
 

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In Dallas, COMCAST did not charge for the HD Tier nor the Cablecards. When Time Warner took over, Prices just went up, $2.95 for cable cards, $3 for HD Tier, plus charges for making changes, higher monthly cost, overall, I ended up cancelling cable and going OTA. Only channel I will really miss is Discovery HD!

What upset me most, was TWC failure to notify me as a customer of the increases!

I hear ATT is coming out with new TV service here in Dallas/Fort Worth. Be interesting to see what they have to offer.
 

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Sorry for the delay, been Down Under for a couple weeks. Used your post as incentive to finally go thru that pile of mail, found a letter from ComCast with "IMPORTANT: This is your monthly cable bill" on the front of it. I guess to distinguish it from the 47 other letters from them trying to convince me how great life is now that TW is ComCast. Even the space-suit guy seems happier.

Um, sorry, I digress . . .

Wow! No cable card charges. You're right. And here's something that's strange. I went to the TW store downtown in early June to get a spare cablecard. Been having pixelation problems on HDNet (290), ABC-HD (313) and CBS-HD (311). Most other HD channels are ok. Thought I would play around with different cable cards to isolate the problem. After staring at it for a week or two, I realized I was going to be out of town for 15 days, and didn't really want to mess with a good, working S3 (other than the pix problem). So I returned it unused, fully expecting to be charged pro-rata.

On my cable bill is a charge labeled "Partial Month(s)", at $1.51. But it doesn't label it cable card, and my other two (original) cable cards are not listed. Between the missing cc's, and the dropping of the HD charge, my cable bill has gone from $181 to $167. :up:

PS: S3 worked fine, never skipped a beat while I was gone. Even caught a couple of shows moving times (as an SP should). Don't tell my wife, but when I smell smoke, I'm grabbing the dog & the S3, in that order. :rolleyes:
 

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astrohip said:
, I'm grabbing the dog & the S3, in that order. :rolleyes:
I got a Dog for my wife.... best trade I ever made :p
 

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You must really love the dog to put S3 second.
 

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I remember when I called TWC here in NC that the first CableCard is included in the cost of the digital tier (since your getting it instead of a box) and that there was a charge for the second one. If you're getting charged any kind of "second digital outlet" fee, then the second cable card might be buried in that cost (again you got a second card instead of a second box).
 

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Verbally told that my cable cards would be no cost, although per the Comcast literature the second and subsequent are supposed to be $1.50...
 

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In troubleshooting a recent pixelation and "toxic channel" problem with my S3, I went to the new Comcast store to pick up two new CableCards. I knew TiVo would want me to switch out cards when I called in for help. Anyway, the guy behind the counter told me that the first two CableCards are free. Everything after those two is a charge.
 

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I now have my Comcast bill and it's true, no cablecard charges and the HD Plus is free right now also. Monthly fee went down $10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks all for your posts...

Jim

(Now, if I could just get the sporadic pixellation problems on 311, 312 and 313 fixed....)
 

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Comcast Houston dropped the charge they had been making for the one CableCARD I have. This may be part of their indecision about how to charge for the new STBs with CableCARDs. The card is in my HDTV; I don't have a Series 3.

But I do have the picture breakup problems some of you are seeing. Since I don't have a Series 3, that pretty well eliminates it as a suspect.

Could it be my TV? I doubt it. My gf with a different brand (also with a CC) has a similar problem.

After reading about people swapping CCs to see if they could stop the picture breakup, I performed an experiment. My HDTV has 2 RF inputs. One goes through the CC. The other does not. I tapped off an unused output on my amplified splitter and plugged into the second RF input. There are identical breakup issues on the 2 RF inputs. That tells me that the CC is not guilty.

I am pretty well persuaded that the fault lies with Comcast. I can't be precise, but the problem began about the time they started adding channels when they were still using the TW name.

My worst reception is on 312 and 313 and their associated SD channels. This happens to be one of the most densely packed channels in their lineup - 2 HD and 4 SD inside channel 88. When one goes bad, the others will also be bad. Channel 294 is also a troublemaker; it is among the most densely packed with 3 HD channels inside channel 89.

Channel 308 used to give me problems but since they quit broadcasting HD the first of the month it has been clean. There are 2 HD (one of which is not true HD but upscaled) and 3 SD channels inside channel 79.

Channel 311 is solid for me. It is in a group of 2 HD and 1 SD channels inside channel 92.

My HDTV has a signal strength meter. Most channels have a steady reading, fluctuating maybe 1 of 8 divisions on the scale. The channels which have the most severe problems fluctuate more widely and when the bar drops below the middle mark picture breakup is not far behind. The bar will then fall to the bottom of the scale. Infrequently the picture will go blank with a message displayed when the signal disappears completely. Judging by the reading on my cable modem, I have about +5 dB coming out the wall (at least at the cable modem frequency) and the amplified splitter adds 3 to that for an +8dB feed to each of my devices. The signal strength at the cable modem fluctuates less than 1 dB.

Even on the worst channels, the picture can remain without breakup (although the signal may fluctuate) for hours. Or it might breakup within a minute of tuning. The breakup clears reasonably quickly but I have to retune to acquire a solid picture. I hope it will go bad when I get a tech here. They seem to have a short amount of diagnostic time they will spend at any one location.
 

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Tiling problems for me too. I have a TV with one CC, and (2) S3 each with two CC. The TV with the one CC seems to be the worst. Nick, Speed, HGTV. My HD channels seem to be OK. The S3 units seem to "deal" with the problem better. Currently, the S3 units are not tiling on any channels, but they have not been totally immune. For awhile, Speed was unwatchable, and ESPN2HD had problems.

My Mother, who lives about 5 miles away, has the same problems.

I have gone through so many CC swaps, you would not believe. I've had line techs out here and my signal strength is fine.

The most amazing thing is that my Mom has had her setup for several months, and she had absolutely no problems until maybe a month ago. I had my setup for a few months without any problems, until again, maybe a month ago. So, something definitely has changed on the Comcast side of things.

I am so fed up with this unresolved issue that I am giving myself on more month with them to see if it clears up for a respectable amount of time. It will be really bad for awhile, then for a few days, no problems. Anyway, one more month, then I cancel Comcast service. I'll get by with OTA and Amazon unbox.
 

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Das Achteck said:
Comcast Houston dropped the charge they had been making for the one CableCARD I have. This may be part of their indecision about how to charge for the new STBs with CableCARDs. The card is in my HDTV; I don't have a Series 3.

But I do have the picture breakup problems some of you are seeing. Since I don't have a Series 3, that pretty well eliminates it as a suspect.

Could it be my TV? I doubt it. My gf with a different brand (also with a CC) has a similar problem.

After reading about people swapping CCs to see if they could stop the picture breakup, I performed an experiment. My HDTV has 2 RF inputs. One goes through the CC. The other does not. I tapped off an unused output on my amplified splitter and plugged into the second RF input. There are identical breakup issues on the 2 RF inputs. That tells me that the CC is not guilty.

I am pretty well persuaded that the fault lies with Comcast. I can't be precise, but the problem began about the time they started adding channels when they were still using the TW name.

My worst reception is on 312 and 313 and their associated SD channels. This happens to be one of the most densely packed channels in their lineup - 2 HD and 4 SD inside channel 88. When one goes bad, the others will also be bad. Channel 294 is also a troublemaker; it is among the most densely packed with 3 HD channels inside channel 89.

Channel 308 used to give me problems but since they quit broadcasting HD the first of the month it has been clean. There are 2 HD (one of which is not true HD but upscaled) and 3 SD channels inside channel 79.

Channel 311 is solid for me. It is in a group of 2 HD and 1 SD channels inside channel 92.

My HDTV has a signal strength meter. Most channels have a steady reading, fluctuating maybe 1 of 8 divisions on the scale. The channels which have the most severe problems fluctuate more widely and when the bar drops below the middle mark picture breakup is not far behind. The bar will then fall to the bottom of the scale. Infrequently the picture will go blank with a message displayed when the signal disappears completely. Judging by the reading on my cable modem, I have about +5 dB coming out the wall (at least at the cable modem frequency) and the amplified splitter adds 3 to that for an +8dB feed to each of my devices. The signal strength at the cable modem fluctuates less than 1 dB.

Even on the worst channels, the picture can remain without breakup (although the signal may fluctuate) for hours. Or it might breakup within a minute of tuning. The breakup clears reasonably quickly but I have to retune to acquire a solid picture. I hope it will go bad when I get a tech here. They seem to have a short amount of diagnostic time they will spend at any one location.
Wow Das Achteck, great post - I think my issues spawn from the channel cramming more than any other factor. Appreciate the legwork/troubleshooting and the info!
 

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20TIL6 said:
Tiling problems for me too. I have a TV with one CC, and (2) S3 each with two CC. The TV with the one CC seems to be the worst. Nick, Speed, HGTV.
Nick and HGTV are analog.

Speed shares channel 114 with 12 other SD channels. No other channel in the Comcast lineup has that many.
 

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lethcoeb said:
Wow Das Achteck, great post - I think my issues spawn from the channel cramming more than any other factor. Appreciate the legwork/troubleshooting and the info!
That's my conclusion. I speculate that there is some marginal equipment out there that, on an intermittent basis, can't deal with the most densely packed channels. Maybe that is what they are going to spend the $200 mil on. Or maybe they are going to spend it on SDV which would alleviate the problem, but create a new one for CC users. :(

OTOH, my internet speed went up 30% yesterday. :)
 

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Das Achteck said:
Nick and HGTV are analog.

Speed shares channel 114 with 12 other SD channels. No other channel in the Comcast lineup has that many.
So the problem is likely too many channels packed into a single frequency? Not sure I understand it all, but this sounds plausible. For me, these problems started maybe a month or so ago. Before that, everything was fine.

Sometimes Speed is just unwatchable. While other channels, on the same device, are crystal clear.

To your point about Nick and HGTV being analog. Specifically Nick. The TV I have with the one CC is in my son's room. He watches Nick a lot. The television has two coax inputs that I use (one for digital cable, one for analog). I use a splitter on the single line from the wall and connect into these two inputs. This is per my TV's instructions. I'm assuming the digital input routes to the CC, and the analog does not.

Now if I have the CC inserted, and tune to 43 (Nick), it tiles and breaks up - I get a little window on the screen saying digital. But if I remove the CC, and tune to 43, it does not tile or break up at all - I get a little window on the screen saying analog. This is what I do when my son wants to watch TV.

What does this tell you? Seems the analog content is fine, but the analog content being carried over digital is messed up. I'm not sure if I have that right. Does analog content get sent digitally?

I have swapped CC's many many times, and the problem still exists.
 

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Das Achteck said:
My worst reception is on 312 and 313 and their associated SD channels. This happens to be one of the most densely packed channels in their lineup - 2 HD and 4 SD inside channel 88. When one goes bad, the others will also be bad. Channel 294 is also a troublemaker; it is among the most densely packed with 3 HD channels inside channel 89.
<snip>
Thanks for an info packed post. I have some of these same problems (esp 290, 312, 313), and am ready to call ComCast out to do something about it. How did you find out what channels are packed where? I would like to see if my problems have similar groupings. And if they are packed identically to you, or if different areas might be mingled differently (I'm near Rice Univ).
 

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You are lucky in the sense that you have competition in your cable market.

Here it's TWC or dish.
 
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