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Acquiring a CableCARD from Comcast

UPDATE: The comcast trickery continues. What they don’t tell you on the website is that if you have additional services, the pricing for a second CableCARD rapidly increases. For example, the digital preferred package (which I have) brings the price of a second CableCARD to $7.95 as opposed to $2.95. Talk about getting nickled and dimed….

Comcast customers beware. If you are want to get a CableCARD to replace your current cable box, you might notice on that your first CableCard from them is free. CableCARDs are a necessity if you want more advanced DVR services like TiVo.

Before you start jumping for joy, nothing is free… the CableCARD is free, yes… but in order to get the CableCARD, you must schedule an installation appointment, which will cost you $24 (in my area).

Despite all this, I scheduled an installation appointment. I eventually got the appointment free of charge because there are some major issues between what the 1-888 number folks tell you compared to what the actual local office offers. Evidently there are self-installation CableCARD kits you can pick up from your local Comcast office, but the local office in my area doesn’t offer that option. After going down to my local office and complaining about the inconsistencies of the information I got from the 1-888 number and the information I got from the office, they waived the installation fee.

Once the tech arrived he informed me that they don’t use multi-stream cards because they “don’t always work as expected” with TiVo boxes. So he had to install two single-stream cards. Conspiracy to get you to pay more for not using their Digital Service? I think so… link here.

The Comcast verbage regarding the cost of CableCARDs reads:

…additional regulated fee of up to $2.05 for the second CableCARD in addition to the digital service charge…

I get my cable bill this month and I am being charged for both single-stream cards… $7.95 extra per month.

Thanks Comcast… I have really enjoyed the web of contradicting information regarding your services. I wish Insight still existed.

So be fair-warned. You can research the price difference between CableCARDs and a standard cable box, but what you find out will most likely not be what Comcast decides to charge.

Leave a Reply

  1. Here's the updated FCC rights and regulation for customers choosing to use a CableCARD with customer owned equipment. Cable providers MUST allow self-installation and must provide a service credit if the advertised package price includes "free" equipment. In my area, Comcast will provide a monthly Customer Owned Equipment credit of $2.50. Rental fee is $1.50 for the first card, first is free. They must provide a multi-stream cableCARD if requested.

  2. This has drastically changed for current day and time. I just picked one up for $1.50 a month and it is the second one.
    I got the $5 fee waived since they did not mention it to me on the phone. They did try to tell me that it was going to be $40 for a required installation fee and then I reminded them of the FCC ruling in Aug 2011. Problem solved. I went and picked one up at the service center. She did try to tell me it was going to be $8/month and I corrected them and she agreed that it would be $1.50 per month. You have to stand up and be firm with them or they will try to take you for as much as they can get.

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for your posting. I am just about to order a CableCard from Comcast. What FCC ruling (Aug 2011) where you refering to specifically?
      I would like to avoid the $40 charge as well.


  3. I'm right there with you man… I miss Insight. You'd think Comcast would understand that the single-stream CableCARD was a workaround for their problem and would wave the additional charges.