[mythtv-users] Comcast CableCard Info

Ken Truesdale kat at tiac.net
Tue Aug 30 18:26:48 UTC 2011

I did finally get everything about my Cable Card working with my Ceton.  I previously posted ( http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users/488761#488761 ) about my validation success.  This post is about getting CCI flags fixed.  Tom had previously written that he had succeeded in getting his flags fixed ( http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users/488555#488555 ) so was hopeful about getting mine fixed.  In the end I did get the channels I needed fixed and I learned some stuff that will hopefully be helpful to others.  

I started my quest by just blindly calling 800XFINITY and asking to have my CCI flags fixed.  Not too surprisingly, it was a slow process to educate the Comcast tech who answered but he was nice and interested in trying to help.  Eventually, he claimed he found the people to help and turfed me off to the Phillipines (Davao) activation center.  The woman I talked to there was very nice too but her job is about activation and obviously I didn't need that.  So back to a stateside tech who claimed that while she wasn't familiar with a CCI flag, she was sure she knew who would and transferred me to the most unpleasant tech at Comcast.  She hated me from word 1 and no, she had no idea what a CCI flag was either.  All she wanted to know was the symptom but at the same time told me that she couldn't help me fix my "third party equipment".  I just kept hammering on "the CCI flag is wrong" and she said she'd try to find somebody to help me and they would call me back.  At this point, I was already on the phone with Comcast for nearly 3 hours.  

Assuming I wouldn't hear back, I tried a parallel approach.  I sent an e-mail to "we_can_help at comcast.com" with my address and a description of the problem.  I figured that would be a dead end too.  

I got 3 phone calls from Comcast in the next few hours.  First, I got a Comcast tech calling to confirm I would be at the house for the service call.  The what?  Apparently, the unpleasant tech thought this would be a good approach.  Ha!  

The second call was from the Operations Supervisor for my area - also calling in response to the unpleasant tech's efforts.  He was honest with me that he had no idea what a CCI flag was but that he'd look into it and find out what they needed to do to get it changed.  He also said he'd cancel the service call since clearly the issue was on the "head end" - a good indication that he was on the right track.  

The third call was from the Comcast "Executive Office".  It turns out that the e-mail I sent bounced around Comcast until it made it's way to this top tier support team that has a group for each region.  She was super nice and promised to contact the Operations Supervisor and make sure things went well.  She implied that she had the power to make it happen.  

In the end, it was the Operations Supervisor who found somebody to fix it for me.  He got the 3 SD channels fixed right away and it took another couple days to get the 13 HD channels fixed.  I have no idea why the difference, but considering that they were fixing this during a hurricane (I'm sure there were outages to be dealt with), I had little to complain about.  

I wouldn't recommend anyone try the first approach to fix CCI flags.  As I proved, it can be really painful.  It did ultimately yield the right contact but it was torturous and time-consuming.  A much more efficient approach to getting CCI flags fixed would be to just start with "we_can_help at comcast.com".  I don't know if the first thing they will ask is whether you tried 800XFINITY already and they may encourage you to start there.  But if not, I'm pretty confident you'll get to the right place much faster using this "executive office" approach.  In the future, I'll still call 800XFINITY for the general stuff that I think they should be able to answer and hold the big hammer for when I need it.  

I think this "executive office" is probably the same as or similar to the ComcastDirect team on DSLReports (thanks, Ron) and the "Comcast Cares" internal group (thanks, Tom).  It seems that they have a group who's job it is to be the last line of support cleaning up issues that the first line couldn't handle.  In addition to monitoring the e-mail address, they monitor twitter, blogs, etc., looking for Comcast complaints and try to fix things.  I suppose I could have written a complaint on my blog and wait for some results but obviously contacting them by e-mail was much more efficient.  

Here are the channels that were incorrectly set with CCI=0x02:  REELZ CHANNEL, MLB NETWORK SD, CENTRIC, TRAVEL HD, G4 HD, STYLE HD, LIFEMOV HD, DISXDHD, FUSE HD, BIO HD, IFC HD, WE HD, MTV HD, VH-1 HD, COMEDY HD, TVONE HD.  All were fixed and are now CCI=0x00.  And I've confirmed that I can see them in MythTV now too.  Also, interesting, is that one channel, GOLTV was incorrectly set with CCI=0x03.  Since that's not part of my package, apparently Comcast isn't interested in fixing it just for the sake of fixing things and will wait for somebody who does have GOLTV to call and ask for a change.  (There are many other channels set to other than CCI=0x00 but those all seem to have legitimate reasons to be set differently and I feared asking for a change on those make it so none were changed.)  

If anyone has subsequent experience with getting CCI flags fixed at Comcast, it might be interesting to post follow-ups here.  


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