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ANSWERED: Xfinity CableCARD Activation and Pairing Self-Installation Setup

What is a CableCARD?

Device manufacturers, such as TiVo and Ceton, manufacture devices for retail that can use a CableCARD to access Xfinity TV service. If you purchased a CableCARD-compatible cable TV Box from a reseller, it can also be used to access Xfinity TV services (see customer-owned TV Boxes for further information). If you elect to use your customer-owned devices instead of renting a Comcast TV Box or TV Adapter, you must obtain a CableCARD from Comcast.

Note: If you use a CableCARD from Comcast, you may be eligible for a customer-owned equipment credit. Whether you use a customer-owned device, a Comcast TV Box or TV Adapter for Xfinity TV on additional TVs you will be charged a Digital Service to Additional TV/TV Adapter Service to Additional TV fee for each additional TV.

 

 

How to Get a CableCARD

We support CableCARD-compatible retail devices, such as TiVo, SiliconDust (HD Homerun Prime), Ceton (InfiniTV), Samsung (Smart Media Player), and Hauppauge.

Professional Installation

To schedule an installation appointment, please contact us.

Self-Installation

A CableCARD Getting Started kit with easy to follow instructions can be shipped to your home or work address. Contact us to find a Comcast Service Center where you can pick up a CableCARD Getting Started kit.


CableCARD Self Installation Kit.

Pair or Activate Your CableCARD - Self-Installation Setup

This article lists the steps to pair or activate your CableCARD.

CableCARD Self-Install Setup Instructions

To complete activation, the CableCARD will need to be paired to your new device. In order to pair the CableCARD to your device and activate Xfinity TV services, you will need the following information:

  • Device Host ID (for both Cisco and Motorola cards)
  • Device Data ID (for Motorola cards only)
You may also need to verify:
  • CableCARD Serial Number
  • CableCARD Unit Address (for Motorola cards only)
  • CableCARD MAC Address (for Cisco cards only)
If you are pairing your CableCARD to a TiVo, see CableCARDs Self Install Setup Instructions - TiVo for specific pairing instructions. For Ceton InfiniTV, please refer to the device's manual or instructional guide.

For all other devices, follow these steps to pair the CableCARD to your device and activate Xfinity TV services:
  1. Confirm that the coaxial cable from your cable wall outlet is plugged directly into theCableinput on your device, which is usually located on the back of the device.
  2. Write down the CableCARD serial number that is printed on the CableCARD label. Motorola serial numbers begin withMAorMT, and Cisco serial numbers begin withPK.
    The CableCARD label featuring the serial number.
    Note: You must use the proper CableCARD type for your cable TV market. (i.e., You live in a Motorola market or a Cisco market. Call Comcast’s CableCARD department at 1-877-405-2298 to confirm.)
  3. Insert the CableCARD into the CableCARD slot located on your device.
  4. Each retail CableCARD device has its own setup process. Please consult your device's User Manual/Guide or the manufacturer's website to find the steps to access your device's CableCARD Pairing or Host ID screen.
  5. Write down the following numbers from the CableCARD Pairing or Host ID screen:
    • Host ID (13 digits)
    • Data (11 digits - Motorola cards only)
    • Unit Address (13 digits - if displayed)
      Two different variations of the Unit Address, side by side.
  6. To activate your Xfinity TV services, go to activatecablecard.xfinity.com. You will need your account number, the phone number on your account and the numbers from Step 5. If you need assistance, call 1-877-405-2298 and request CableCARD Activation.
  7. Once activatecablecard.xfinity.com or a Comcast agent has confirmed the CableCARD is activated, proceed with the completion of your device's pairing process, as described in the User Manual/Guide or manufacturer's website.
  8. After exiting the CableCARD Pairing/Host IDs creen, confirm that you are receiving all channels to which you currently subscribe.
    • Channel activation may take up to 45 minutes.
    • If you do not see all of the channels to which you currently subscribe to after 45 minutes, contact 1-877-405-2298 and request CableCARD Repair.

CableCARD Self-Install Setup Instructions - TiVo

  1. Set up your TiVo by following the instructions on your TiVo's Start Here poster.
  2. Confirm that the coaxial cable from your cable wall outlet is plugged directly into the CABLE IN connection on the back of your TiVo.
  3. Write down the CableCARD serial number that is printed on the CableCARD label.
    The CableCARD label featuring the serial number.

    Note: You must use the proper CableCARD type for your cable TV market. (i.e., You live in a Motorola market or a Cisco market. Call Comcast’s CableCARD department at 1-877-405-2298 to confirm.)
  4. Insert the card, then plug in the TiVo to the power source. Once the TiVo powers up, you will see a Welcome Screen. The TiVo Guided setup will then begin.
  5. Begin the TiVo on-scree nGuided Setup. Follow the Guided Setup instructions.
  6. Once you arrive at the CableCARD Decoder screen, select CableCARD Installation or Options for Installers. Then select CableCARD Menu. Then select the CableCARD Pairing or Host ID screen.
  7. Write down the following numbers from the CableCARD Pairing or Host ID screen:
    • Host ID (13 digits)
    • Data (11 digits - Motorola cards only)
    • Unit Address (13 digits, if displayed)
      Two different variations of the Unit Address, side by side.
  8. To activate your Xfinity TV services, go toactivatecablecard.xfinity.com. You will need your account number, the phone number on your account and the numbers from Step 7. If you need assistance, call 1-877-405-2298 and request CableCARD activation.
  9. Once activatecablecard.xfinity.com or a Comcast agent has confirmed the CableCARD is activated, proceed to Step 10.
  10. Press CLEAR to exit the CableCARD Pairing or Host ID screen and return to theCableCARD Decoder screen.
  11. Proceed with completing of the Guided Setup by selecting Continue Guided Setup on the CableCARD Decoder screen.
    • The Guided Setup will help your verify that you're receiving all of the channels to which you have subscribed. For a list of channels, please login to your account atxfinity.com, or download the Xfinity My Account app.
    • Channel activation may take up to 45 minutes.
    • If you subscribe to HD programming and/or premium channels, ensure that you are receiving these channels.
    • If you have Xfinity TV service that includes Xfinity On Demand and you have a TiVo Roamio (all models), TiVo Premiere (all models) or TiVo BOLT (all models), you should also verify you can access your Xfinity On Demand service through the Xfinity app provided by TiVo in the Apps Menu. (Restrictions may apply.)
  12. Complete the Guided Setup and you're finished!

Notes:
  • If after Guided Setup you have waited 45 minutes and still do not see all of the channels to which you currently subscribe, call 1-877-405-2298 to request CableCARD repair.
  • If you need to return to the CableCARD Setup screen for any reason:
    • Select Messages & Settings from the TiVo Central screen.
    • Select Settings.
    • Select Remote, CableCARD & Devices.
    • Select CableCARD Decoder.
    • Select CableCARD Installation/Options for Installers.
    • Select CableCARD Menu.
      • For a Motorola card, select CableCARD Pairing.
      • For a Cisco card, select CableCARD Diagnostic Screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CableCARD?
A CableCARD is a device roughly the size of a credit card that can be used with a compatible third-party device to access Xfinity TV services. Comcast supports CableCARD-compatible devices such as TiVo, Ceton or Silicondust. (This is a non-exhaustive list.)

If you subscribe to Xfinity TV service, you have the option of purchasing a third-party CableCARD-compatible device from a retailer. You can also purchase a CableCARD-compatible cable TV Box from a reseller. This device can also be used to access limited Xfinity TV services (see about customer-owned TV Boxes for further information). If you elect to use a customer-owned device instead of renting a Comcast TV Box or TV Adapter, you must obtain a CableCARD from Comcast.

Note: If you use a CableCARD from Comcast, you may be eligible for a customer-owned equipment credit.

Once I get a CableCARD Getting Started kit, how do I activate my CableCARD?
Once you receive your CableCARD Getting Started kit, go to the Xfinity CableCARD activation and pairing tool at xfinity.com/activatecablecard and refer to the easy to follow steps above. 

Why is Comcast offering CableCARDs?
Comcast is committed to working with manufacturers of retail devices, including manufacturers of CableCARD devices, in order to provide our customers with more choices to access and enjoy Xfinity TV services. Comcast will continue to support retail CableCARD-compatible devices well into the future.

For any questions about your CableCARD, please call 1-877-405-2298.

If I have a CableCARD device, do I still need my Comcast TV Box or TV Adapter to get Xfinity TV?
You only need a CableCARD device, Comcast TV Box or TV Adapter for each TV connected to Xfinity TV service.

Can I access the same features and services with a CableCARD that I currently enjoy with my digital cable service?
Retail devices that support CableCARDs (like TiVo) have their own features, which may include on-screen program guides and DVR service (if supported, DVR service may require a separate subscription) that are supported by the retail device manufacturer. All linear (non-IP) channels that are part of your Xfinity TV service will be available. Some retail devices also support additional services*. Please refer to your owner's manual or manufacturer's website for additional information on your device.

For more information on TiVo devices, please visit the TiVo website.

Do CableCARDs offer Parental Controls?
Currently CableCARDs do not have Parental Control functionality, although Comcast does pass V-Chip data to the CableCARD device. V-chip is a generic term for technology used in television set receivers which allows the blocking of programs by ratings that are content-based. Please review the owner's manual for your CableCARD device to learn what Parental Control functionality may be available.

Why does my On-Screen Guide look different from the digital cable TV Box guide?
CableCARD-compatible retail devices use a guide provided by the device manufacturer, which is different from the guide provided by Comcast. As a result, the guide content from the manufacturer may not always match Comcast's guide. For more information about your guide functionality and features, please consult the owner's manual for your CableCARD-compatible device.

Will I be charged to use a CableCARD?
The first CableCARD in a customer-owned retail CableCARD device that is able to take more than one CableCARD is free as long as there are no other pieces of equipment on the account. If a second CableCARD is needed for the same device (as is the case with certain older model TiVo devices), a charge will apply. The first CableCARD, with no other TV equipment on that account, is free. The second, and subsequent, CableCARD(s) on the account will require a charge.

  • Note: With Simple and Easy packages, CableCARDs are free regardless of whether they’re the first CableCARD on the account.


Will I receive an equipment credit if I use my own CableCARD-compatible retail device?
If you own a CableCARD-compatible device with an activated CableCARD from Comcast and subscribe to an Xfinity TV service package that includes equipment as part of the service, you may receive a monthly equipment credit of $2.50 for each qualifying CableCARD-compatible retail device. Please note that the credit is determined by the device and not the CableCARD as some devices may have multiple CableCARDs inserted. To learn more, see our policy for customer owned equipment.

What are the fees associated with Service to Additional TV outlets?
Whether you use a customer-owned device, a Comcast TV Box or a TV Adapter for Xfinity TV on additional TVs, you will be charged a Digital Service to Additional TV/TV Adapter Service to Additional TV fee (up to $9.95 monthly) for each additional TV if you subscribe to an Xfinity TV service above Limited Basic.

Why am I not able to view all of the Xfinity TV content that I subscribe to if I remove my CableCARD from the host device or move it to another device?
If you remove the CableCARD from its host device, the CableCARD will possibly be unpaired from that device. If this occurs and you lose some or all of your Xfinity TV content, you will need to call 1-877-405-2298 to re-pair and reactivate the unit.

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