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web1b

join:2008-10-25
USA

2 edits

[Cable Card] Thinking of upgrading from Limited Basic to Digital

Right now I have the HSI plus cable bundle with 1 free cablecard in my Tivo HD.

I'm considering taking advantage of a 1 year deal I got in the mail. 6 months at $29.99 and 6 more months at $49.99 for Digital Starter. So it averages out to $39.99 per month for 12 months. Cheaper than getting a dish with the same channels and there seems to be no commitment to complete the entire year.

I may buy an HD Homerun Prime so I can watch cable channels on multiple Windows Media Center PCs in my house with a single cablecard. I would have to rent an additional cablecard for the HDHomerun if I kept using the one in the Tivo, but that's only $1.10 per month for each additional cablecard after the first free card.

After the 12th month, the regular price for Digital Starter appears to $64.99 unless there is a price increase in 2012/2013 when the 12 months discount price would end. I would cancel at that point and wait for the next deal if the canceling CSR doesn't offer to extend the lower price beyond the advertised end date.

Does Comcast typically offer you continuation of the discounted price if you want to cancel or downgrade back to Basic or do you have to wait several months for the next offer to come in the mail?
Digital Starter isn't worth $65 per month to me, but I'm willing to try it for a year since the promotional price makes it less than $25 per month more than I pay for Limited Basic.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03

Re: [Cable Card] Thinking of upgrading from Limited Basic to Dig

Definitely worth a try at the prices you were quoted for a year, but there's no telling what kind of deal you'll get offered afterwards. Sometimes they say you have to wait 6 months, others say it's 60 days. Best thing to do is select the option to downgrade or cancel service when you call so a retention rep can tell you what they can do in your area.

But the likelihood is that you'll have to pay full price for starter unless you bundle it with internet and/or phone for a while - I'm on a double play bundle for preferred and blast HSI for $80 for a year.

BTW I just installed a Prime for my HTPC setup and it's been working great, additional card was $1.50/mo. (I was told) but I haven't seen the first bill since I added it yet. I use Xboxes and a Linksys extender and would recommend either for WMC.


Mudgen

join:2011-12-22
united state
reply to web1b

I can't answer the package/price questions, but wanted to advise that you may have some issues in getting the card properly activated in a Prime (maybe in anything, but my experience is with a HDHR Prime).

I've been working on activation for two weeks. Started with a self-install, called for activation, showed successful activation, but no subscribed channels. They sent out a tech who switched out the card, got some channels subscribed, but a number of channels in my package were not. He sent it to Comcast IS to fix the lineup applied to the card, and they "fixed" it so the already subscribed channels stopped working, and so did a number of the basic package channels (which I can tune clear QAM on a basic HDHR).

I wrote Comcast's we_can_help email address, and got a response from "Regional Executive Support", who alternate between assuring me that they're going to take care of the problem, and telling me that I have a problem with unsupported 3rd party software.

I've told them that I'm pulling the channel information directly from the card using the HDHR diagnostic CLI (hdhomerun_config vstatus option), that the HDHR Prime is CableLabs certified, and that the FCC regulations require them to deliver the same package to it as to my set top box. I said that I'd work with them as long as they were trying to solve the problem, but would file a formal FCC complaint if they tried to stand on the "3rd party software" excuse.

We'll see, but it's not fun so far. I'd be interested in hearing what Comcast market people who've had success are in. I'm in Richmond, VA. They appear to be leaving the lineup setup to the local IS departments, so it seems to be hit-or-miss by market from the various forum posts I've read.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03

And my Cablecard was activated in less than 10 minutes on a single phone call to the activation number. All channels worked (including premiums) right away.

As with everything Comcast, YMMV.


Mudgen

join:2011-12-22
united state

Do you mind mentioning where you are, and whether it was a Cisco or a Motorola card? I think there are several factors that affect success with activation. It seems to rely on the expertise of local "dispatchers" in doing the head-end and account setups. The setups differ from location to location, depending on the head-end equipment and cablecards in use. And Comcast does not seem to have good communications nor a good reference knowledgebase to leverage the experience across similar local infrastructures.


Mudgen

join:2011-12-22
united state

By the way, my lineup was finally straightened out about 4pm on Dec. 23 when I stumbled onto a Tier II tech (Christy) who listened to what I said about the cablecard setup not matching the set top box and had the expertise to compare the two. She immediately saw that a) the HD flag was not set for the cablecard and b) a package option that affected the subscription and CCI settings was not correctly set. She also knew exactly who needed to fix it locally, and contacted them directly with the specific guidance they needed.


GTFan

join:2004-12-03
reply to Mudgen

I'm in the ATL, they use Moto cards here. I agree that their Cablecard expertise is very uneven, we just saw someone post in the Tivo forums that their local office refused to issue a card. The OP had to intervene with corporate to get them in line and avoid an FCC complaint since they were in clear violation of the rules.