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wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state

[Cable Card] My "Comcastic Experience": No Cable Card

Well, as you know from my earlier thread, I recently found a Xfinity Double Play bundle with Blast tier Internet and Digital Economy TV for 79.95, a deal which I will find out soon is only available online no matter what.

Well, I decided earlier this week that I wanted to go for it, and I had caved in on the temptation that was a sweet deal on a SiliconDust HDHomerun Prime (heh ) and had upgraded my Linksys CM100 to a Moto SB6121 DOCSIS 3 modem in preparation. The activation of the new modem went very smoothly with their new walled garden activation site (the only positive of this story, unfortunately ) as it was extremely easy compared to the phone tree heck I experienced two years ago in getting my CM100 provisioned (though to be fair their walled garden system was having technical difficulties afaik which is why I had to call.)

Anyway, Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I started playing around with online ordering system trying to figure out a way to not get the receiver and just get a Cable Card by means of me being able to go to the service center and pick one up. I did not want to wait two weeks into the future for a truck roll that I would have to pay for (the Professional Installation and receiver were the only options available, no self install... wonder if the FCC is aware? ) as at the time the scheduling calender only started to have available dates in the beginning of march. I should mention that I am a current customer who already has an active Performance tier Internet connection, so there was really no need to have them even come out to connect the outside line much less install stuff. Also, just so there's not any confusion, I'm visually impaired so I can't legally drive (I know how, but my corrected vision w/ glasses is 4 or so points under the minimum in this state, see I have terrible luck in life!!). And I'm new to this town so don't really know anyone to ask for a ride off of .

Not finding any options, I decided that it would be a good idea to print off the ad and head over to the "local" Comcast service center to talk to a person face to face and hopefully be able to pick up the cable card at the same time. Well, I say "local" because the service center is about a mile away from the nearest bus stop, and that's about a 45 minute ride to from where I live. And cabs are just not an option as they are extremely unreliable and never show up any of the times I've called them (even an hour+ ahead of time 0.0).

So Friday (today), I woke up at 7 and got cleaned up and dressed and such and had breakfast. Ended up starting an article for PC Perspective on the LG 4X HD so I didn't leave the house until 9. I took my current bill, ID, and the flier. Took the bus to the nearest stop and then walked the rest of the way (and it was very cold out with 22 mph winds mind you). Luckily I managed to find it (Google's street view is outdated so where Comcast is now it shows Insight... so I was unsure of where exactly the service center was according to Google Maps. Got to the service center a bit after 10 iirc and waited in like for about 15 minutes. The lady (sorry, couldn't read her name tag ) looked at it and said that it must only be available online and that I would have to do it at home and come back. She seemed to make an effort to find it but didn't offer to help me apply online despite my concerns of being able to order online and still get a cablecard instead of their box.

But I said okay, chalked it up to bad luck and walked out. Tried to order it on my phone but wasn't able to complete the order as their chat approval part wasn't supported by the mobile browser (or Opera mobile for that matter). So I walked the mile back to the bus stop, waited for the bus and eventually made it home at around 12:15 (the buses run ~every hour after 9am until 3pm for the second transfer going home). Got online and found the offer again. This time I went through with the order but made it clear to the Live Chat agent what I wanted: a self install and to be able to pick up the cable card at the service center. He read/typed the information back to me (apartment #, ect) and it was correct. So he put in the order. I then took the 1:15 bus back out there, walked again through the 34 degree weather (22mph wind chill not included) and brought the chat log, ID, and account number.

She started laughing and asked me if my apartment was #x (it is) and I said yes. She then proceeded to tell me that the order wasn't going to work because the agent (apparently/allegedly) mis-typed the apartment number (even though it was correct in the chat log he typed back to me ) and put 8 instead of my actual #. She then chuckled some more, said she'd go ahead and delete/cancel the order and that I should go home and try again. The package is only available online, she said. Well, it's now 5pm and I'm finally home and typing this message. I've had nothing to eat today and am disappointed and rather upset that I could not get any help from the Comcast employees in person. She had a computer and internet connection right in front of her, why was she so against helping me order it online!? Also, as a Comcast employee, she apparently had the power to completely delete the order, so I can't imagine why she could not have simply corrected the typo (as I had my ID and the confirmation number and everything documented in the chat logs) and given me a cable card?? I felt hurt that she'd rather laugh at me and everything I went through today to try and give them more money for a service that I was interested in rather than help me to do that. Apparently, and I really hate to pull "the card" (and hell, in 21 years this is probably the first time I have heh) because it's not really me asking for anything I do not deserve- I just wanted to get help with my account and instead spent almost the whole day freezing my butt off and getting the run around.

Right now, I just don't know what to even do, and am considering just canceling my account despite wanting to give them money, it seems they just don't want it.

All I want is to give you more money and get a cable card... I just don't understand why they were so reluctant to help me :/. Honestly, I'm already invested in the cablecard hardware so I do want the service, I just don't know if I'll be able to .

Any ideas on who to talk to that can actually get this done for me that won't disappear on me if something gets messed up? Do you think I should try to escalate to some Comcast higher power? If so, who would that be and how can I reach them?

Thanks for listening DSLR, you guys and gals are awesome

EDIT: Also, I just thought of another point I'm confused on, why the heck can't they just give me a cablecard self install kit to take home on the off chance I did mange to get them to put my order/upgrade through? That way I wouldn't have to keep coming back for their, ah, entertainment (lol)


gar187er
I do this for a living

join:2006-06-24
Dover, DE
kudos:4

Re: [Cable Card] My "Comcastic Experience": No Cable C

love the part about eating breakfast, cab rides, bus schedule and the wind....

phone reps, door to door, payment center; all have different promos....if one has a deal, the other cannot necessarily offer it....

getting "a" cable card generally doesnt work....more often then not it takes a few tries to get one to work right....and after all the time and money you spent going back and forth, you could have had one brought to you and installed.....youre saying your vision is horrible, so you going to be able to read all the numbers you need to install it?

also be aware not all call centers have CCs readily available....

post in the comcast direct forum, but leave out the all unnecessary story telling, and they will sort you out, but it still might be faster to get it brought to you by a tech. also they do more then check lines...installing a cable card involves getting a hold of a competent dispatcher, and inputting a few mac addresses into the right spots on a form, and submitting it to a certain department. its not just plugging it in and BAM full lineup....
--
I'm better than you!

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
So you've never had a bad day and needed to vent?

I know they don't all have the same promos but I just didn't get why they couldn't fix the typo and call it a day. I tried searching google to see if they would mail them and didn't find a clear answer so I was under they impression they had to be picked up or brought out by a tech. But turns out they do mail them... as that's what they are doing now so I'll admit I was mistaken there. Wish I would have known that a week ago! heh.

Trust me the bus system in this town in a pain in the butt, and it's not a very pedestrian friendly town despite being the capital of illinois. right smack downtown is alright for walking and such but things start to be very spread out as you venture outwards which isn't bad if you're in a car but there are large gaps in what the bus routes cover and it's not walking friendly with, for example, not many streets having crosswalk buttons and such.

Heh, i can see stuff, but I have to get close to it. Horrible isn't really the right word, it's a lot better than most, It's.. hard to describe as I don't really have a grasp of what "normal" vision is per se. The way I see the world is just the way I see it, I've had it almost all my life (and luckily it hasn't gotten worse despite the large odds stacked against that outcome!). When I was younger people would always ask how it was different and I never really knew what to say :P. Contacts/glasses do help but idk you prolly weren't actually asking for an explanation hehe sorry . If you're interested, look up Aniridia.

True that, according to what the live chat guys told me and what it says on the Comcast website service center locator they do, but In the weeks leading up to this I read on here that the left hand doesn't always know what the right is doing and that information is not always accurate. I'm assuming they did since she didn't say they did not carry the CC, just that my order kept being messed up lol.

heh, yeah I wouldn't make them read all that, I was just having a bad day (. My post in there was a paragraph or two but then I thought the live chat guys fixed it so I told them that. Then, luck bit me in the butt. Anyway, a Google+ follower pointed me to the sales number and I decided to call them despite wanting the online deal, and Rob (don't know his last name but deserves to be credited) was helpful and answered my questions and found a similar deal. Rob should get a pay raise as he made me a satisfied customer by just being friendly .

I... dunno, suppose I could go back to lurking til I feel this forum out a bit more lol! Sigh, I was just frustrated today ^.^.


dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to wolfofone
Hope your day improves then tomorrow. Glad it all got worked out but can understand the frustration. Comcast is closing the office near us. The other two in the city will take about a 30 minute drive to get to either. Charging for anyone to pay their bills in the office, the not quite so helpful "help" received there may be a factor however my guess is just to make a little more money.


addressyo

@myvzw.com
reply to wolfofone
said by wolfofone:

...but I just didn't get why they couldn't fix the typo and call it a day.

Because the billing system is a system of addresses. If your order was setup at the wrong address setting you up for a new install at a new location is a NEW job. You can't alter an address, you search for the correct one and associate the customer to it. You wee associated with the wrong address, to associate you with the correct one starts you back at square 1.
If you have vision issues then get a pro install. Having worked both call center and commtech i can tell you that it'll go much smoother. Calling in to the call center they're going to rely on your eyes to give the serial, host, and data info. That can be frustrating for both parties and will likely result in a truck roll anyway.

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
Ah okay, thanks for the insight addressyo, I didn't know they worked like that; that the address /was/ the account so to speak. I had imagined it worked the other way, where the account was with a phone number or to me and then they just added addresses. I guess that explains why there's so much trouble getting say two internet connections for two different people at the same address (I've read a few questions about that on here, and one of the customers in front of me the second time I was in there was asking them about that). Seems backwards to me, but I guess it works for them as the ISP to associate everything with physical locations.

Thanks dandelion, I'm hoping the weekend is a bit more relaxing . heh, yeah that's weird that they charge you to pay them money, but my guess is that they are trying to encourage people to do it online or mail stuff in. When i went there the first time in the morning, I wasn't expecting a huge line but there were at least 10 people there to pay their bills 0.0. I didn't realize that was so popular! heh.

As an update, I got an email from Comcast confirming my order has been successfully placed and they are going to email me a tracking number when it ships. yay .


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12

1 recommendation

reply to wolfofone
In a more technical forum as this usually tends to be unless someone is just ranting- Just the facts wins every time. Checking in to see if you can help or offer advice about somoenes issue shouldnt entail reading a blog entry on what time this individual woke up, what the did, personally, before they went to a local Comcast Center, how they got there, what the weather was like..etc etc..

If anything however, if anyone did read through the whole detail, it does go to show that a reasonable "set back" or miscommunication can really get blown out of proportion based on the posters prior events or mindset.

Nothing against Wolfofone. I liked the post and would read it on a blog. Just not on a tech help forum.

In regards to the cablecard. Its purely a local and financial decision. Cablecards can be extremely easy to install. But there is an order and it is NOT plug and play. You need to pair the card with a certain key from your HOST ( TV or Tivo Etc) and provide both numbers to Comcast in a requested order so they can provision and pair the card with the host.
Often times TVs firmware is out of date with changing technologies. the numbers are misread, a few failed provisions in a row might lead one to try an entirely different card. Suddenly, youd rather have someone who has done a few doing it for you.

So can one be shipped or picked up? In some areas yes. In others they deem the cost for the inevitable truck roll to be a bit greater then the return of X amount of self installs being successful.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
heh, fair enough cabletool . I'll admit I may have been, ah, too detailed lol.

Yeah, I've been reading as many threads, guides, and such as I can find to prep for the install. I wish it was as simple as activating the modem w/ their walled garden system (their new website activator worked pretty well when I used it earlier this week ) but I get that it's a different and one way tech that needs to be paired on their end.


tivoguy

@cox.net

it's all about content

most of the cable ISP forums here have posts complaining about cable card install issues. it seems the ISPs aren't really embracing this technology by not training employees properly. regardless, the need for a truck roll to read off numbers seems unnecessary- the comments about out of date TV firmware, misread numbers, financial reasons, which lead to the need for a tech visit (which you pay for so I can't understand how that would financially impact the ISP, but what do I know) aren't logical.

The ISPs don't like cable cards. Don't understand why other than the fact that the technology was forced on them by uncle.

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
Yeah, now that I think about it, they should love cable cards because it means they don't have a fleet of hardware (STB, DVRs) to support and replace if anything goes wrong :P. I've just always assumed that they hated them because it deprived them of box rental fees, so maybe the money they make off rentals outweighs the cost of hardware maintenance for them.


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
reply to wolfofone

Re: [Cable Card] My "Comcastic Experience": No Cable C

Lot of assumptions and opinions here, and thats cool. Let me chime in a bit though with some "industry insight" if anyone will have it.

Cable doesnt "like" cable cards because there is no On Demand with them. That is decent revenue and also adds value to their product. People who use boxes and the On Demand Feature tend to stick with cable longer.

The employees are trained properly however the amount of cards they might come across in the field can equal about one a month. Its not just to "read off numbers". And most installs that go awry or chronic issues are resolved with upgrading Firmware on TVs through an SD card.

Tru2way seemed to solve the the two way communication issue allowing On Demand and interactivty, you know, the future. But manufacturers only produced one TV set or device at all to host it. And no one bought it.

They day will come soon enough when you can order cable and they will ask for some numbers off of your TV and enable decryption through your OWN TVs tuner.. but until then- This is the world we are in.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
That's true, Is there a technical reason that they can't design a two way cable card, would it require new hardware (boxes and TVs)? One thing that would be cool is to have the cable modem integrate the cable card, then have the TV's networked through Ethernet or coax. We had U-Verse before going with Comcast and that's how their TV works (granted, it's IPTV so not really the same), all the TVs are connected to STBs(or the DVR box if it's the main STB), which are then each connected to their Residential Gateway that routes all the TV stuff (and internet, phone if you get that). Maybe SiliconDust should get on this and make a cable modem . That way, they have cable card for decryption and the modem to facilitate the up connection and as an all in one they could just provision the card the way the modem is (via config files and using their walled garden). Sounds like way more work than cable will go through in the near future, but maybe once everything starts moving to IPTV it will happen. Somehow though, the cable guys keep finding ways to pack more channels through the coax with better compression and transmission tech so who knows


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
Tru2Way is a technology and a cablecard. It exists, but there are no manufacturers that will actually develop a box for it.
Panasonic came out with a TV for it but only a handful of customers sprang for it.

Cable is doing a lot now with usually just 750MHz of bandwidth. All gear these days however is coming out 1ghz. So an upgrade to 1ghz wouldnt be impossible or financially difficult. It just isnt needed yet. Cable upgrades as it needs it.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
Yeah, I'm figuring it will be a long time (years) before they would need to consider an IP-TV overhaul, they seem to fit a lot of stuff through the pipes so to speak.

Do you think that's because customers w/ cable cards don't use On Demand, or that the majority of cable card users are just using CCs on secondary boxes in addition to one Comcast DVR that can get On Demand? My guess is the former, since they are likey more tech savvy, they probably use other online services to get on demand stuff (the Xfinity website, Netflix, Amazon VOD, VUDU, et al).


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
I dont really know. I think if someone, say Tivo, came out with a Tru2way DVR they would be flying off of the shelves. Having a Tivo with a cablecard is great, imagine being able to access a whole other library of movies through it like PPV and such.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
Hmm, that's a good point, if a big enough manufacturer backed it, it could work. Get on this Tivo or Ceton!


Master Wolfe

join:2009-04-04
Panama City, FL
reply to wolfofone
Wonder if the fact that many newer TVs, Tivos and other devices have access to Netflix, Hulu, etc, might play into the lack of prioritizing 2-way access?


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
I dont think thats the case. I think technology is moving so fast an investment like that might not make sense.

There was an article, on this site I believe, that stated most interactive TVs arent connected at all or used in that way. They arent there yet.

»50% of Connected TVs Aren't Connected

That being said.. I think a lot of manufacturers are waiting.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
heh, yeah my TV has apps and such but I never use them, I get Netflix from the PS3 and that's about all I use in the apps department .

So, as an update, I was told they would ship out my Cable Card self install kit via UPS and I later got an email with an order number telling me that I'd get another email with a tracking number when it shipped. Then I got a second email saying "this email is being sent to inform you that order 444039533 was successfully placed with Comcast."

I got those yesterday (Saturday), and then this morning I got an email saying:

"Dear Timothy,

Thank you for choosing Comcast. This is a reminder that your appointment is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, February 27, 2012.

Your Appointment Information

Name: Tim [redacted]
Service Address: [redacted]
Springfield, IL 62704-8013
Appointment Date: Monday, February 27, 2012
Arrival Window: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
Email Address: [redacted]@GMAIL.COM

If any of the above information is incorrect, or if you need to reschedule your appointment, chat with us or call
1-800-COMCAST. "

Oh vey . I'm supposed to be in class tomorrow morning. Is this just an automated email that I can ignore or did they mess up and schedule an an install instead of shipping me a SIK? Know anyway I can check on the order status? From googling around, there is supposed to be a way to do it in the online account under Alerts but I don't see anything there.

Any ideas? Think the chat guys would be able to tell me if I gave that that 444039533 order number?

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
. . .

From the very early specifications and draft standards, the CableCARD module has been a two-way device. That is, it included the functionality to enable two-way communication on the cable plant. This two-way communication is necessary for a variety of advanced cable services including video on demand (VOD), switched digital video (SDV), interactive services and applications.

The media has frequently reported that first-generation CableCARD 1.0 modules are one-way devices. This is simply not true. CableLabs had always intended to develop the CableCARD module and host receiver standards with two-way capability. However the manufacturers of digital TVs requested that a host standard be developed that only had one-way capability. This one-way cable-ready receiver was defined by the FCC's Plug & Play order and by the Joint Test Suite (JTS). It is the definition of this one-way receiver that lacks the ability for two-way functionality, not the CableCARD module. While the FCC defined the elements of the one-way cable-ready receiver, CableLabs continued to define specifications for two-way receivers.

When a CableCARD 1.0 module is used with a two-way receiver (e.g., Samsung HLR5067C) that card supports all the necessary two-way functionality for VOD, SDV, and other interactive services.

. . .

»www.opencable.com/primer/cableca···mer.html

This article is old (written when Tru2way was called OCAP) but very good and there is a lot more information that I didn't include.
--
SA 8300 HD DVRs with Patched S25 Guide
Links:
'S25 Guide Blog' 'Schedule' 'Info' 'Patch Thread'

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
reply to CableTool
I see you didn't notice comcast and cox are working with tivo to get ondemand working with retail tivo's


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
said by ajwees41:

I see you didn't notice comcast and cox are working with tivo to get ondemand working with retail tivo's

I did notice.
I see you didnt notice this ISNT the first attempt at working with Tivo on this.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
but this will be tivo hardware not motorola hardware, so they will have to come up with 2 way communications for ondemand to work


CableTool
Poorly Representing MYSELF.
Premium
join:2004-11-12
It doesnt have to be Moto Hardware.
This has much less to do with "getting it to work" and more to do with contractual specifics.
--
CableTechs.org/"Horrible People with Integrity"

GTFan

join:2004-12-03
Tivo has announced that OnDemand will be trialed in San Fran starting next month, and will be rolled out to all Tivo Premiere/Elite boxes after that.

Robyn5

join:2012-03-09
reply to wolfofone
So I wonder if the OP ever got his cable card installed? FWIW - I have 2 TVs that can use cable cards - and gave up on the cards about 3-4 years ago. At the time - all cable card installations in my area could only be done by techs. And the techs hated the cable cards because they rarely saw them - and *their* phone support when doing installations was often inadequate.

FWIW - I never got the impression that Comcast disliked the cards. After all - it was getting its money. As of today - the biggest downside of cable cards - at least for me - would be the absence of the on-screen program guide (no way I can remember all those stations and my cable card TVs are both "one way"). Robyn

wolfofone

join:2012-02-22
united state
reply to Russ6
interesting, I'll take a look at it tonight .