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Comcast cable card didn't work in my KDF-50WE655

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Old 04-23-2005, 02:05 PM   #1  
High Definition is the definition of life.
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Default Comcast cable card didn't work in my KDF-50WE655

In my last thread "Comcast has trapped-out HDTV signals", I finally relented and agreed to purchase the digital TV package for $64.90 using a cable card principally thanks to RSawdey's good input.

The Comcast service man just left after failing to set-up my Sony KDF-50WE655. When he arrived he told me that I'd be lucky if he could get the job done and that cable cards "just don't work"; how right he was. The TV set-up menu never highlighted the "Cable Card" position and he was never able to bring it up. He phoned-in and popped the card in and out a half dozen times, and concluded with the statement "you need the set-top box (STB), call us if you want that, goodbye"!

When I then called customer service I was informed that the $64.90 would have been for digital-only without HDTV but did include the STB rental, and that I needed to pay another $4.95 for HDTV . I was offered a "special of $69.90" which includes the STB, DTV and HDTV and "On-Demand" for "80% of the stations". When I mentioned that perhaps the other brand of cable card might have worked, I was told there is only one and obviously your TV is incompatible.
The person from whom I ordered the cable card this week told me that DTV and HDTV and the cost of the cable card were included in the $64.90 price.

My questions:
What the heck is going on?
Why didn't the cable card work, or is that a scam to force a STB on the customer?
Isn't $69.90 getting a bit steep for basic DTV/HDTV.
If I go STB is one brand better than another?
What do I do now?

This all started after Comcast "audited" my signal and took away INHD1 and INHD2; they were back for a couple of days, but they are clearly gone again for me here in Central NJ.

A final thought: I just tuned in the Mets game on Comcast's WB11 DTV in "480i"; I then switched to my attic CM3021 WB11 HD - yikes what a difference, smeary WB11 DTV on Comcast, spectacular WB11 HD from the attic!!!
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:17 AM   #2  
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Is there anyone else who has had problems with Comcast cable card? I'm going to finally get one installed next Saturday, and it's one of the main reasons I bought my TV. I really don't want to get a STB.
I would also like to know if there are people who are satisfied with their cablecards.
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Old 04-24-2005, 09:36 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dels28
Is there anyone else who has had problems with Comcast cable card? I'm going to finally get one installed next Saturday, and it's one of the main reasons I bought my TV. I really don't want to get a STB.
I would also like to know if there are people who are satisfied with their cablecards.
Using my Sony to "line double" and decode I think I get a better picture that with STB.
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:31 PM   #4  
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TeeJay,
I've found that the KDF-50WE655 actually does a better job playing DVDs that are not progressively scanned (much crisper picture when the TV upgrades the signal on its own).

Please tell me about "decode"! Clearly the TV tuner is able to bring in a lot of HDTV and DTV signals present in the Comcast cable, but cannot bring in those that are truly scrambled or "trapped-out" (sorrowfully I must now add INHD2 to that list because the TV could not "find" the signal over the past 2 weeks; likely Comcast has scrambled that because of the Yankee games on the Yes Network - had that not happened I wouldn't be that interested in upgrading to DTV-HDTV via cable card).
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:44 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dels28
Is there anyone else who has had problems with Comcast cable card? I'm going to finally get one installed next Saturday, and it's one of the main reasons I bought my TV. I really don't want to get a STB.
I would also like to know if there are people who are satisfied with their cablecards.
dels28,
Please let me know here what happens.
I almost bit on the STB but my wife insisted on trying again with the cable card. This time (Saturday May 7) Comcast has agreed to send out a tech supervisor who has successfully installed cable cards before.

The Comcast STB song is around "On-Demand", PPV and program guides, etc. If I care that much about a schedule I can bring up and print the station-by-station schedules on station websites.

I don't want a STB either and will likely switch to Dish using my attic CM3021 for standard broadcast if Comcast cannot get it done next time.

Also read the Sound and Vision magazine editor's Fall 2004 awful struggles with his Comcast cable card installation (one of the very early Comcast attempts) in the November 2004 issue.
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Old 04-24-2005, 10:58 PM   #6  
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First hint your installer didn't know much about this is that he only brought one card... which may have been defective.

Signals that are 'trapped out' have been filtered out of your cable spectrum. they are no longer there to be unscrambled. CableCard unscrambles everything that's there, except PPV. Sometimes partially defective cards will refuse to work with some channels...

Hopefully your uninformed installer has only damaged the card & not the slot...
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Old 04-25-2005, 05:56 AM   #7  
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Just an FYI, CableCARDS do work and they work well. I work for TWC and pretty much all the issues have been worked out. Three good tips.
1. Make sure all your wiring is clean, RG6 cables
2. Make sure the cable signal is at it's best hitting the TV with no more then +5 dBmV
3. Make sure there is no ingress

After market wiring, splitters and amplifiers can contribute to something not working right, too strong of a signal can be a bad thing and breaks in the line that allow analog or digital ingress can cause issues with the QAM. I've seen a lot of people with Comcast saying they're not having much luck...wish I could help, but alas I'm not leaving TWC lol.
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Old 04-27-2005, 06:03 PM   #8  
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Comcast cablecard should work, but it may take a couple of tries. I have the card installed in the Sony kdf-42we655. The first install was not successful kept getting error code 161-1, so I had to schedule a second install. The second install worked perfectly.

Comcast does not actively market these cards, and as a result many installers don't have a lot of knowledge regarding these cards. It helps to read up on the cards and what the error codes mean. This can help if there's a probem during the install.

I've read of installs that have taken 3 or 4 cards before 1 would work, so you may have to be persistent with Comcast to get one that works, but any problems with the card should not be a direct result of the TV you are using. However, as theCableGuy stated, there are a few things related to the wiring that you may want to check out if the cards continue to give errors.
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