Originally Posted by spockcat
Comcast misinformation strikes again. I called on Wednesday evening about getting a cablecard for the TiVo I ordered. They tell me that I can either get it shipped to me (with a UPS charge of $20) or pick it up at my local service center (because that is where the installers get all their supplies so they have them there).
On Friday I go to my local service center, wait nearly an hour in line, and lo and behold, I am told you cannot get cablecards there. They have to be delivered, programmed and installed by an installer.
My wife says you need to call Comcast 3 times to get the correct answer that you can be sure of.
On my way home I called them on my cellphone and the phone rep agreed that a visit by an installer is required, and there is a $17 charge (which the guy at the service center didn't tell me about despite the fact that he made the appointment for me).
After telling them the story about the previous call and visit to the service center, I got the charge waived.
Yesterday I also picked up the TiVo from Best Buy ($199 on Black Friday). Without cable cards it still only knows about our basic cable but we can view and manually record the other HD and SD channels we aren't supposed to be seeing at our basic service level.
If the cablecards reduce our service even further, will I be able to remove them easily? Should I even forgo the installer visit for fear that he will put filters on our line?
I don't know if this helps, but I live in the Center City Philly area, and after getting an HD TV and HD TiVo, I went and picked up a cable box myself from the Delaware Avenue Comcast office, took it home and plugged it in. Then I had to call Comcast and get them to activate it, since they never seem to realize they need to activate the box they give you.
After activating it, I took the cablecard out. The cable card is in the back of the cable box covered by a metal guard. You unscrew two screws and take off the ventilated metal "guard" and the cable card is sticking out about 1/2 inch from the back of the box. I plugged the cable card into the TiVo, ran through TiVo's setup and search, and was getting what appeared to be ALL channels except premium movie channels like HBO and SHO. I got the music channels in the 400 range, and channels all the way up to the 900 range if I remember correctly. There were local channels in analog and then digital versions of the same, sometimes two digital versions.
Trying a premium movie channel like HBO would cause TiVo to display a gray screen and black screen with words like "This screen provided on behalf of your cable company" at the top and "Press CLEAR to continue" at the bottom with stats like ID and REV and last update in between. If you pressed clear the grey and black screen would go away and I'd be left with a black screen for those premium channels.
Everything was fine for at least three weeks, but just yesterday I noticed that it seemed that more channels were giving me that grey and black screen. I would have to press clear and then the channel would come in. I'm sure that these were channels that I was getting when I first installed the cable card, like the Home and Garden HGTV channel. This was not the way it behaved when I first set it up.
I'm wondering if Comcast has sent out some signal to limit what I receive, since I don't think the package I'm signed up for includes this many channels.
I'm sorry that I can't be more definite about the details, but I have a newborn at home and don't have the time to devote to it now.
In my experiences with Comcast there seem to be three non-DVR boxes that they give out: a very small black one that looks almost like a modem, a large full component sized one that is a Motorola and is silver with a black display panel and control buttons on front, and then the box which I got was a shrunk down version of the silver one, it is about half the width of a component and has no controls on the front. I know the tiny black box does not have a cable card, and I assume the larger version of the box I got does have a cable card.
So, if you can pick up one of the two silver/black Motorola boxes you can pull the cablecard out of it and use that in the TiVo like I did.
I'd like to know what ever happened to you, since your situation seems like mine.