The Comcast supplied Motorola type 'M' CableCARD is NOT compatible with my Sony WEGA TV, despite the M card specification which states that M cards are backward compatible with S type cards.
I tried three different Motorola M type CableCARDs, provided by Comcast.
For what it is worth, the specs on one of the three cards that failed was this
SN: MA0929ZJ0600 (SERIAL NUMBER)
Though I made more than a dozen calls to Comcast support over this, and they shipped me another (redundant) DCT set top box and other equipment, which only wasted my time connecting and activating, finally, after continuing to fail in activating the CableCARD, Comcast phone support recommended I have a local installer come out: to the tune of around $40 charge!
I told the phone support person that I thought installation of equipment was free, especially since the FCC requires that Comcast provide CableCARD support and since I have tried, repeatedly to do the installation myself.
To no avail, after checking with her supervisor, this support person told me: sorry, but no - you have to pay.
To which offer, I declined.
Next, went back (once again) to my local Comcast office and this time got a different clerk, and recounted my problems, yet again, and THIS TIME, I was offered a FREE installation of the CableCARD. Yippee!
I was told that the installer would call me a few hours before the appointment time, to confirm, but all I got was a robo-call, not even from Comcast, but from "Toll Free Call" on my caller ID display, which I normally do not answer. In this case, since I knew to expect a call, I did answer, and confirmed my appointment.
I had hoped to alert the installer - as I had already alerted Comcast phone support, and the local Comcast office, several times - to please come prepared with an S type CableCARD, since the M type cards do not seem to be compatible with my TV.
No such luck, since the Comcast robots do not accept such comments.
Finally, my local installer, James (Tech #2508) arrived, and was a very intelligent and capable person. With the help of his supervisor (Evan Wilkes), James managed to locate an S type CableCARD, in a neighboring county (my county had none). He installed it the next day and my problem was solved. Finally.
THE MORAL OF THIS STORY IS:
1) Do not believe those who tell you that M type (multi-stream) cards are backward compatible with S type cards.
That may be what the paper specification says, but hardware, and reality, is the only truth we really know.
Only type 'S' (single stream) Motorola CableCARD will work in my Sony KD-36XS955 36" 4:3 FD Trinitron WEGA HDTV
2) Don't give up on CableCARD installation - it is well worth it because:
a) Your TV tuner is vastly superior to the Comcast set top box which: feeds you unwanted ads; can't go 'back' more than one single step in navigation; makes managing favorite channels very difficult
b) Comcast spies on your TV viewing habits; S cards don't have that 'cool' interactive capability of sending your habits to the NSA
3) You can probably purchase an older S type CableCARD on ebay and get it activated, if Comcast does not have any S type cards available in your area. I am just guessing on this, but in my case, I would have gladly paid the price for a card and risked the possibility of Comcast not being able or willing to activate it.
>Note: If you subscribe to a video service level above Limited Basic and you have additional televisions connected to Comcast video service there will be an additional monthly service charge for your additional television outlets regardless of whether you lease equipment from Comcast or provide your own retail devices. If, however, you own a retail device, including a CableCARD device (e.g., TiVO or CableCARD equipped television) with an activated CableCARD installed and are subscribing to a Comcast video service that includes equipment as a part of the service, Comcast will issue you a monthly Customer Owned Equipment credit. Customer Owned Equipment Policy.