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How does one get a CableCard from Comcast?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
1. Does one need to switch to the service first (Cable Package X) and then request one or can one request one and then switch to the service?

2. Can you force Comcast to give one to for self-install or do they require sending a technician to install one for you?

3. Do they charge for one?

Based on a phone conversation with them they don't seem to make it so easy.
post #2 of 11
When you say "switch to the service," do you mean within Comcast or from another provider? If you don't have a Comcast account yet, yes, you'll most likely need to set one up before they give you any hardware.

Try going to your local Comcast office and request one. They should give you one for self install.

Charges vary by local office, but I think Comcast has a number of places where they let you have one for no charge, and only fees for additional ones. They might even waive the charges if you ask.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

3. Do they charge for one?

First one in the device is free. If you need a 2nd (like in a Tivo Series 3) then it varies between 1.50 and say 3 bucks
you get a 2.50 credit for each owned device on the account

Yes you can do self install. There is a special number to call to activate it. Its posted in the local HDTV threads
http://www.avsforum.com/f/45/local-hdtv-info-and-reception
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
I currently have Comcast but no TV service. Only internet.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

I currently have Comcast but no TV service. Only internet.
Did they recently scramble the channels you had been stealing? If so, you'll have to subscribe to a TV service to get a CableCard. They are used for descrambling authorized signals. You do realize you'll also need a CableCard tuner like a Tivo or the new Samsung tuner or a SiliconDust or Ceton computer TV tuner...
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
No. I can still plug my TV into the wall and get the basics like NBC, FOX, etc.

My tuner of choice would be the HDHomeRun device.

But I think you a answered my question. I need to add the service before I can get the card m

Another question: are there different types of CCards for SD vs HD content?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post


Another question: are there different types of CCards for SD vs HD content?

no.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

No. I can still plug my TV into the wall and get the basics like NBC, FOX, etc.

My tuner of choice would be the HDHomeRun device.

But I think you a answered my question. I need to add the service before I can get the card m

Another question: are there different types of CCards for SD vs HD content?

Being on ComCast odds are pretty good they will be scrambling your locals soon. Their justification is that there are a lot of folks like you who use their signal without paying for it. The good news is that the HDHR Prime will tune those channels (until they scramble them) as clear QAM, so you can go ahead and get the tuner. Then when they do scramble them you can start paying for the TV service plan of your choice and get a CableCard.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks. These are alll helpful replies.

Do I ask Customer Service for a card? Go to local Comcast service center? Either?
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

Do I ask Customer Service for a card? Go to local Comcast service center? Either?

 

If it were me, I would go to the local Xfinity (Comcast) Store, but then there is one a short distance from me and I can easily get there while they are open. That way, I can add TV service and get the CableCARD on the same visit. They can also show you the channel lineup for various packages available to CableCARD-using customers and maybe figure out how to bundle services to save a bit over what Internet alone plus TV alone would cost. (Alas, no a la cart channels yet.)

 

Generally this is more in the domain of Sales (if you aren't already paying for TV services) than Customer Service, but you might be able to do this over the Internet and you can do it over the phone.

 

The condo association was a subscriber to TV service, but when Comcast dropped the analog channels a little over a year ago, I went to the Xfinity Store, got my account set up for the appropriate TV service (which was at that time covered by the Condo association) but I opted for a HD DVR because I thought that once the cable went digital it would be easier renting equipment designed to record digital cable for time-shifting purposes than encumber the analog VCRs with additional cable boxes, and when I left I had the HD DVR in hand and it was a snap to hook up and, with just one activation phone call and a 10-minute wait while code loaded, I was in business, not having missed a single show I had intended to time-shift. That was far easier than getting service upgraded and then having to wait for a technician to pay me a visit on a later date to do what I could do by myself, and I didn't even have to clean up my house to do so! :) (And when the Condo contract with Comcast for TV cable ran out, which we knew it would, Comcast just added the TV service as part of the Internet+TV bundle to my bill, just as we had arranged.)

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

Thanks. These are alll helpful replies.

Do I ask Customer Service for a card? Go to local Comcast service center? Either?

If you want a card you need to go to a center, it's entirely YMMV whether they'll ship a card for self-install. Some areas do it, some don't even though the phone reps say they will (they'll ship you a standard self-install kit with a box instead and you'll end up going to the center anyway).

You shouldn't get charged anything for the card since you have no devices, but you will at minimum need to pay for limited basic service (locals and a few other channels).
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