My understanding is, if you need access to any of the (encrypted) digital cable channels, it will require a m-card (multi-stream CableCARD). This setup will also let you order PPV shows via phone, much like w/ a TiVo series 3, just not Comcast VOD since you don't have a Comcast box.
Your friend is only partially correct, since you would benefit from having a splitter perhaps, though you wouldn't need to have a Comcast HD package per se. That would only be if you wanted that specific content. The TiVo premiere can deal with your area's Comcast basic cable if I understand it correctly. Having basic cable access to both HD & SD stations means you are no longer on an analog system. This means you probably won't even need a CableCARD since it should be unencrypted channels your TiVo box can deal with.
I would verify all of this by posting your question either in a dedicated TiVo forum such as this one-
or possibly @ dslreports.com (good Comcast cable user forums there too)
The following article might also be of interest-
I just bought an LCD tv (and love it!). I have basic cable through Comcast. Basic means I receive network stations only (and a few Spanish stations).
Now, each station has an HD channel and SD channel.
Friend #1 has a Tivo Premiere (new) that she is sending to me, with the subscription still on it that will be transferred to me. I called Comcast and they said I just hook up the Tivo and I'm all set and that Tivo charges me. Fine.
Friend #2 is telling me that the Tivo Premiere isn't likely to be compatible because I don't have cable HD, that I need a cable card and a splitter for my phone.
Can anyone help me in my confusion? I thought I could just use Tivo with my new tv and pay Tivo.
Thanks for any assistance. I appreciate it.
Does anyone know if this is true