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Contributor
rancho100
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

[ Edited ]

I'm thinking of upgrading from Limited Basic to Digital Stater.  I received a mailing offiering a dscounted price of $29.99 for months 1-6 and $49.99 for months 7-12.    The regular price is $61.99 per month.

 

Is the HD Service Fee only to get Premium channels like HBO in HD or do you need to pay the $10 per month additional even to get basic cable channels like CNN in HD?

 

I use my own Tivo equipment with CableCard and don't need the interactive programming guide, Video on Demand, PPV or music audio stations.  I don't watch that much TV and that's why I got limited basic in the first place.  I watch everything in HD since HD locals are included in the $17 monthly rate and locals are all I've been watching,

 

The promotional price for Digital Starter  is  low enough for me to try it for a year, but if I need to pay another $10 extra per month to get any HD channels other than the HD locals I already get, I won't bother since the cost would be too high for the few non-local channels I would watch and I don't want to see them in SD.

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 11,486
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

[ Edited ]

Without paying the HD Technology fee you will not get any HD channels (cable, locals or premiums) on the Comcast cable box.

 

The good news is you will get all those HD's on the Tivo also, not just the locals.

 

Paying the HD technology fee covers all full HD boxes, DVR's and cable card devices on the account to turn on the HD flag.

 

You probably should just keep what you have now.

Contributor
rancho100
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

[ Edited ]

I'm not sure I understand.

Are you saying that if I upgrade to digital starter, I will get ESPN and CNN channels in HD if I use my CableCard Tivo without paying the service fee, but if I get a Comcast provided cable box, then  I would need to pay the additional service fee even for HD locals?

 

I'm not sure I still have the promotional mailing with the discount details (phone number to call or discount code) anymore and I don't see it advertised online, so I may just have to  wait for the next mailing.  I have been getting the offer to upgrade for discounts every several weeks for a couple years.

 

Price during the promotion averages out to $39.99 -$2.50 customer owned equipment credit for 12 months. About $20 more than I pay now is worth it if includes HD channels via cablecard.  That's about the limit of what I would be willing to pay to see the 3 or so cable channels in Digital Starter I would watch regularly. 

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

to get hd on tivo or comcasts box you need to pay the HD fee.   Do you have an HD tivo?  Comcast will not allow you to receive the feed without paying the hd technology that everyone pays.

Contributor
rancho100
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

[ Edited ]

Yes, I have a Tivo HD.  That's how I can watch HD locals now.  

If that's true about needing the $10 HD fee for Digital Starter, then I just won't upgrade at all.  At no point will Digital Starter with HD ever be worth $71.99 per month to me for so few channels above locals that I have any interest in watching and I don't want SD, so there will be no point to even try the temporary promotion.

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

you should call comcast about all of this. they have packages that they can give you to make it even more afforadble, that one you mentioned might also include the fee but only your region would know as a lot of promos are based regionally. 

Contributor
rancho100
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

[ Edited ]

The last time I called Comcast to ask about upgrading the rep on the phone quoted me a monthly price that was even higher than the $61.99 I see when I log into my account online and select the digital stater tier.

As long as the promotion allows you to cancel and is not a mandatory 1 year agreement, I can try it to see if I get HD through the Tivo.  If I don't I'll just cancel it.

Actual HD resolution is not super important for some channels like CNN.  If they offered SD scaled widescreen 480P or so, I might be satisfied with that if Comcast wanted to ration HD access for whatever reason.  However,  I would hate paying more money to see 4:3 in a box or stretched out to fit wide screen or else pay too much to get them in HD.  I'd rather just save the money and pass on the upgrade altogether if those are the only options available.

Silver Problem Solver
rog286713
Posts: 13,999
Registered: ‎06-17-2008

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

well you can stretch your sd programming using your box in SD I do that for my sd channels and it really is not that distored.  Do you have any box from comcast now at all? 

Contributor
rancho100
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

I don't have any Comcast boxes.  I only use the HD Tivo with cablecard as a DVR and some HD tvs that have built-in digital tuners without DVR.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,382
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

rancho

Read that offer carefully. I get those all the time and one of them mentioned in the fine print about it being a 2 year contract with the promotional price ending after the first 6 months.

Also the price may be higher because rates are increasing on things. Next month the per month rate all most channel tiers for me will increase. Digital Starter goes over $61 per month then. At present it is around $57.

Comcast has been adding channels to Digital Starter and moving some from Preferred tier and taking some channels off Starter and moving them to Preferred so the newer  and additional channels would account for a rate hike.

 

Contributor
rancho100
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

[ Edited ]

I read the last offer carefully and it was only 12 months.  I know they have other offers that require 2 year commitment and usually also only for new customers, but the last one I got by mail was for upgrading customers.   12 months with different rates for months 1-6  $29.99 and then months 7-12 $49.99 (averages out to $39.99 over 12 months).  It ends after the 12th month.

Silver Problem Solver
commanguy
Posts: 5,382
Registered: ‎01-11-2010

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

Good, that is a change. I have also read on the forums where people think they are in a one year contract and then when the prices go up they find out they have been in a two year contract. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

 

Contributor
rancho100
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

I'll see if I still have it anywhere (not sure if it might have expired in December anyway).  If I don't have it anymore, I'll have to wait a few weeks for the next one and see if the terms are still the same.

I wouldn't want a 2 year agreement that discounted the rate for the only first year.  If it was a super low price for the entire 2 years, then I might consider it if I was sure I wouldn't move in 2 years.

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 11,486
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

I will repeat what I said earlier, if your doing this thinking you are getting a deal for a year, you will probably end up back on the forum complaining on surprise charges and price increases.

 

I will repeat, keep your existing service, or you will be disappointed.  It will not be worth the hassle of adding it and paying a fee to downgrade back to what you had.

New Visitor
LarrySF1
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-11-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

I have limited basic service and a TIVO Series 3 DVR.  My system was working well until the switch from analog to digital cable this last weekend.     I thought that installing the Digital->Analog (DTA) box would let get back to a working situation, but I can no longer record on the DVR because I can't change the channel.  I was told by Tivo that I needed cable cards, but Comcast said that the cards would not work with at least the Digtal Starter package which I don't want.   Will the HD Service Fee allow me to use the the cable cards with limited basic service?

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?


LarrySF1 wrote:

I have limited basic service and a TIVO Series 3 DVR.  My system was working well until the switch from analog to digital cable this last weekend.     I thought that installing the Digital->Analog (DTA) box would let get back to a working situation, but I can no longer record on the DVR because I can't change the channel.  I was told by Tivo that I needed cable cards, but Comcast said that the cards would not work with at least the Digtal Starter package which I don't want.   Will the HD Service Fee allow me to use the the cable cards with limited basic service?



I'm at a loss as to why you can't get a cable card with you limited basic tier of service?  Maybe try the following for clarification.

 

To get help, you can drop a note to Comcast corporate customer service (we_can_help@cable.comcast.com).

For the quickest response, please include:
Your full name;
Service address;
Phone number & an alternate number if possible;
Account number;
A link to your post.

New Visitor
LarrySF1
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-11-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

Thank you --I will try the email approach.

 

FYI-- here is a piece of the conversation I had online with a supervisor last night:

 

Angelo > im still here. Sorry about that. had to call the local office in your area to confirm.


Angelo > The cable card will not work with the basic cable TV service.


> thanks for checking -- do you all understand my delimma


Angelo > We do have to upgrade your service to the Digital Economy.


Angelo > Yes, we definitely understand.

New Visitor
LarrySF1
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-11-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

Thanks for your help.  Received extremely helpful phone call with followup from Comcast in response to the email.  Rebecca told me that it was possible to use cablecards with basic service.  Not sure why I was originally told on chat that it was not possible.

 

 

New Visitor
LarrySF1
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-11-2012

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?

Working fine now.  Thanks for the suggestions.   Still not sure why Comcast chat had misinformation.

Bronze Problem Solver
edpeters
Posts: 3,325
Registered: ‎12-13-2007

Re: HD Service Fee required for Digital Starter in Sacramento?


LarrySF1 wrote:

Working fine now.  Thanks for the suggestions.   Still not sure why Comcast chat had misinformation.


It's called lack of adequate training.