Can I Use Comcast CableCARDs With On Demand?

By Katherine Barrington

Use a Comcast CableCARD to enjoy the benefits of digital cable without a cable box.
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Comcast is committed to offering their customers as many choices as possible when it comes to digital cable. The Comcast CableCARD provides customers with an alternative to the cable box, while still supporting cable-ready devices like TiVo and Ceton InfiniTV. Though the CableCARD is a great alternative to the cable box, customers should be aware that there are certain limits to the digital cable service received using these devices.

CableCARD and On Demand

Comcast CableCARDs are a simple alternative to digital set-top boxes so they receive only one-way digital cable channels. This means that customers using the CableCARD, as opposed to a cable box, will not be able to use additional features such as On Demand, Pay-Per-View and the Comcast interactive programming guide. In order to continue enjoying these additional television services while using a CableCARD, you will need to install a digital cable box in your home.

How Much Does It Cost?

Comcast customers receive their first CableCARD free because its price is included in the fee charged for the primary outlet. Additional CableCARDs can be connected to multi-card devices like TiVo devices and digital cable tuners using the primary outlet or additional outlets. For each additional CableCARD installed on the primary or other outlets, a regulated fee of up to $2.50 per month will be charged in addition to the charge for digital cable service. These fees may vary in different markets, so contact Comcast directly for specific information regarding your area.

Additional Features

Though Comcast customers using only CableCARDs as opposed to digital cable boxes will not be able to access Comcast's On Demand or Pay-Per-View features, other features will still function. Your television's picture-in-picture feature should continue to function, and you will continue to receive quality digital cable services. CableCARD does not offer parental control features, but if your television set offers this feature, it should still function.

Purchase and Installation

A Comcast CableCARD is an easy-to-use alternative to digital cable boxes and are available only through Comcast -- they are not available for individual purchase. These devices are much smaller than digital cable boxes at the approximate size of a credit card, and they can be easily installed in your home by a Comcast technician at the time of your service installation. If you currently have a digital cable box and would like to switch to a CableCARD, contact Comcast directly to schedule a service call.