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Comments on news posted 2013-01-31 18:22:26: Comcast finished their digital conversion in 2012 after starting it in 2009, and had been giving users a free digital converter so they could continue to watch programming without interruption. ..

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Robotics
See You On The Dark Side
Premium
join:2003-10-23
Louisa, VA

FU*K Comcast (and all the others)

This shit is getting old.

I have one of those boxes and was told it would be free forever at the time they gave me the box.
And now they are going to charge for it. lol

Yup, I'm returning mine. I hope a lot of others do to.
Would love to know they have tons of these cheap ass boxes laying around their warehouse collecting Comcrap dust.
--
Long you live and high you fly, and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry,
and all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to swintec

Re: Nasty

said by swintec:

I look at TV without a box / dta (analog channels) as maybe a little benefit they extended to customers but it is time to move on and free up the bandwidth for more services.

I get 0 channels if I plug my analog TV in. I never bothered to try to plug in a digital TV.
--
* seek help if having trouble coping
--Standard disclaimers apply.--

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to Corehhi

The cable service I subscribe to started to gouge customers before I subscribed to service. They originally included one digital STB in the price of digital service. If the subscriber added a DVR they paid for the DVR and still were entitled to a no charge STB. My cable service provider started gouging by eliminating the no charge STB and charging full price for the DVR, no credit for the STB if a subscriber added a DVR. If you subscribed to two DVR's you were charged for two DVR's you did not get a no charge STB or a credit for the one that was not supplied. Just another way to gouge customers.

You mention that the first receiver a DBS provider is included in the cost of basic service. Additional receivers incur additional charges. At least the DBS service providers provide one receiver in the cost of programming.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to alexintexas

REGULATION is the answer. Up until last year I could receive up to around 70 channels without additional equipment on a cable ready television set. That was fine for guests that wanted to catch up on the news or cartoons for the kids. We are back to the pre Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.

There was an article about why the act was made law. Some congressmen and senators were pissed off because they could purchase a cable ready television and not use the remote control because they had to rent a descrambling converter to watch programming on each television. That was the main reason that the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 was passed. The lawmakers got tired of being screwed by the cable industry. The cable companies were only allowed to scramble premium and pay per view programming.

One solution would be to regulate the price of equipment to descramble an encrypted signal. The cable company could charge a one time right to use fee and no monthly fee. Ownership and maintenance cost would be the responsibility of the cable company. An incentive to keep the equipment in good condition would be to return part of the right to use fee if the customer cancelled service. The DTA's should be provided at a low cost say $25.00 with no monthly charge. Ownership would be retained by the cable company. The DTA would have to be returned when service was discontinued. Cable companies should be prohibited from charging for each outlet.

I would be satisfied if I could purchase a STB at best buy or any other store, that accommodated one cable card and did not require that I paid a monthly fee for that outlet. Do not expect to have any relief on this gouging since the cable industry is paying off our corrupt lawmakers to screw their constituents.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to r81984

Review section 17 of the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 here:

»en.wikisource.org/wiki/Cable_Tel···_of_1992

Don't expect relief on cost as the cable industry has lobbied up.


Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL
reply to Mr Matt

in canada you can buy the box with out the outlet or mirroring fees. Some systems even have rent to own as well.



PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to cork1958

Re: Big deal

I guess then that I am the only other Comcast customer to be aware of this?

In my apartment complex, when the switch was being made, Comcast came out and gave us the DTAs. We were clearly told that this was free for the next two years, but that there would be a nominal monthly charge down the road.

I have no issue about anyone who decides that this charge makes Comcast service to expensive to keep...everybody has the right to vote with their wallets...but IMHO, it is a bit silly to ascribe some terrible/evil intent on Comcast's part.

I don't really care where the extra $4.00 amonth comes from (Would it be any better if it was a television service for space aliens fee?). I am only concerned about whether my total bill is acceptable to my enjoyment/usage versus cost or not, and how it compares to alternative sources price wise.
--
Deeds, not words



PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to YukonHawk

said by YukonHawk:

Do you have proof of that?

Well, I will take his word for it. All 285 units at my apartment complex were informed about the eventual cost back when Comcast rolled out the DTAs.
--
Deeds, not words


PeteC2
Got Mouse?
Premium,MVM
join:2002-01-20
Bristol, CT
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Robotics

Re: FU*K Comcast (and all the others)

It would not necessarily surprise me at all if someone inadvertantly told you that. Comcast is a huge company, and not all personnel always seem to get the same message. Not defending that, but just saying that I am not surprised either.

Seriously though, I live in an apartment complex of some 285 units, and I can tell you that Comcast clearly stated to us that the DTAs were free "now", but would have a monthly charge a couple of years down the road.
--
Deeds, not words



Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to r81984

Re: Nasty

Comcast has been charging $7.50 "outlet fees" for people who use their own equipment (i.e. cableCards) simply because they can.

Comcast originally rented cable boxes for $10 a month, but then lost this revenue when people switched to using their own equipment. So Comcast decided to rent cable boxes for $2.50 with a $7.50 outlet fee. People who rent from Comcast see no change in price, but people using their own equipment are suddenly socked with a $7.50 per device surcharge.

Basically Comcast is finding ways of implementing fees when there's no real reason to do so. For example the $10 "HD Technology Fee" which Comcast charges if you want HD channels. That fee applies whether or not you actually rent an HD box from Comcast (even if you have an SD TV) so it's simply a money grab.
--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.


Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO
reply to Corehhi

The charging per receiver when you owned them was a scam to begin with.

It took $0 more dollars for them to deliver you signal to 1 TV or 10.

Just like the HD fee used and the fact that Dish charges $10 (at the time I was with them) just so you can have the component connection on the STB enabled.

Bottom line is that these people make up fees that have no relation to cost and they know we have to pay it because we dont have a much of a choice.


biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Tru2Way

Whatever happened to tru2way? It was supposed to allow for pay-per-view and SDV unlike cablecard. Congress needs to ban the monthly fees for these digtal boxes until such time as an alternative like tru2way becomes available.



swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
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reply to Mr Matt

Re: Nasty

said by Mr Matt:

Up until last year I could receive up to around 70 channels without additional equipment on a cable ready television set.

Yeas and? This is the result of technology and progress. They want the reclaimed bandwidth for advanced services with a bit of security sprinkled in. Satellite and TelcoTV got a free pass, cable should be under the same deal here.
--
Usenet Block Accounts | Unlimited Accounts


Robotics
See You On The Dark Side
Premium
join:2003-10-23
Louisa, VA
reply to PeteC2

Re: FU*K Comcast (and all the others)

Yeah it was one of their reps. over the phone. And I am sure they didn't know the full story (nothing new there), or neglected to mention that fact.
Oh well, I will be returning it anyway. One less TV in the house for now.
--
Long you live and high you fly, and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry,
and all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be.



Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
reply to AVD

Re: Nasty

said by AVD:

said by swintec:

I look at TV without a box / dta (analog channels) as maybe a little benefit they extended to customers but it is time to move on and free up the bandwidth for more services.

I get 0 channels if I plug my analog TV in. I never bothered to try to plug in a digital TV.

If I plug in a DTV I get all the locals in HD plus another mix of analog and music channels. Just hit auto program and see what comes up.


Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
Reviews:
·Hargray Cable
reply to Skippy25

said by Skippy25:

The charging per receiver when you owned them was a scam to begin with.

It took $0 more dollars for them to deliver you signal to 1 TV or 10.

Just like the HD fee used and the fact that Dish charges $10 (at the time I was with them) just so you can have the component connection on the STB enabled.

Bottom line is that these people make up fees that have no relation to cost and they know we have to pay it because we dont have a much of a choice.

I know they are always looking to bump up your bill. My local cable company actually gives you a STB that blocks out the HD channels which ironicly I receive since I simply just plug my TV into the cable, the HDTV channels are there at least the locals but they want an up charge for a HD box which you don't need at all. LOL. That make sense???


YukonHawk

join:2001-01-07
Patterson, NY
reply to PeteC2

Re: Big deal

I guess, but I tend to be suspicious of "anon" posts.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to Morac

Re: Nasty

Before the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 was implemented our cable company charged an outlet fee, a converter descrambler fee and a remote control fee. Only local channels were not scrambled for lifeline service. When will the gateway that has been discussed become available and will the FCC prohibit the cable service provider from charging for each outlet (television)? The FCC should use the telephone company model forcing the cable and DBS industry to allow the customer to own their own equipment.


alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Mr Matt

said by Mr Matt:

REGULATION is the answer.

REGULATION really??? you 100% sure about that...Pots is a fine example why government intervention is not needed, ah but wait you do come up with an idea.

said by Mr Matt:

One solution would be to regulate the price of equipment to descramble an encrypted signal. The cable company could charge a one time right to use fee and no monthly fee. Ownership and maintenance cost would be the responsibility of the cable company. An incentive to keep the equipment in good condition would be to return part of the right to use fee if the customer cancelled service. The DTA's should be provided at a low cost say $25.00 with no monthly charge. Ownership would be retained by the cable company

you still fail on answering, who pays the upfront costs of said equipment? Someone pays it, its not the cable company, its not our government..then you go on to say the cable co keeps paying to maintain it ------never going to happen

said by Mr Matt:

I would be satisfied if I could purchase a STB at best buy or any other store, that accommodated one cable card.

sure this is a fantastic idea however @ $600 per STB or upto $1200 per dvr? how many subscribers do you think will dole this out? you wouldnt. lets not forget you still would pay to lease said cable card per device.

one simple solution, CUT THE DAMN CORD!!! take that $1200+ per year you would save.

todays day an age there are way to many other streaming options to many to list.

another solution have the government REMOVE cable companies and content providers from ever being publicly traded companies, this however is a pipe dream

TheMayor

join:2002-05-09

Thank you

Well Thank you Comcast, I'm sure my parents will appreciate knowing they will recoop the cost of converting to WMC faster then expected.



Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Mr Matt

Re: Nasty

said by Mr Matt:

The FCC should use the telephone company model forcing the cable and DBS industry to allow the customer to own their own equipment.

The FCC does force cable providers to allow users to install and use their own equipment by mandating that cable companies support CableCARDs which separates encryption from the device.

The FCC even mandates what can be charged for cards and that cable companies should refund customers the cost they would have paid renting from the cable company. In other words deduct the rental fee.

What Comcast did was arbitrarily decide that the box rental fee should now be $2.50 instead of the previous $10, so that's what customers who use their own equipment get back. Of course the box rental fee can't actually be $2.50 so they then tacked on a $7.50 outlet fee to make up the difference. Since it's not a "rental" fee, customers using their own equipment still have to pay it. It follows the letter of the FCC regulations, but not the spirit of said regulations. Basically Comcast found a loophole.

Don't expect the FCC to revisit this any time soon though as it's been neutered recently.
--
The Comcast Disney Avatar has been retired.


hambone42
Peace, through superior firepower
Premium
join:2002-02-02
Manassas, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Zoder

said by Zoder:

(snip)

Oh no customer, we're only charging you $2.50 for the equipment. It doesn't matter if it's an SD, HD or DVR box. The equipment is just $2.50. It's the "outlet" that you are paying $7+ for.

Yet here we see the outlet charge is only $1.49. It's the same outlet and if you have digital starter, the same channels.

(snip)

That's the part that frosts me the most. I'm moving into a new house and am paying for all of the interior TV and network cabling. Except for the extremely small marginal cost of the extra power to boost the signal entering my home, my additional outlets cost Comcast nothing from an infrastructure perspective. I doubt they cost Comcast anything from a licensing perspective, either.

This reminds me -- they still haven't fixed my billing to credit me for their box that I turned in and replaced with a TiVO two months ago. If they start charging me for the DTA's that were supposed to be free, I'll be turning those in and going OTA for those TV's.

When does Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" start up again?
--
Sarcasm is the Body's Natural Defense Against Stupidity

davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2
reply to amungus

Re: suck

The television manufacturers got hurt financially from the CableCard debacles. Advanced services were not available if you used the CableCard, only set top boxes from the cable companies provided those services. Tru2Way cards were supposed to be capable of allowing all the advanced services, but without out the need for a box. Few cable companies use them, there is almost no equipment available that has the Tru2Way card slot. The FCC has done little to regulate the cable industry to eliminate the need to use proprietary set top DVRs or other boxes. In theory you would be able to subscribe with a cable company for services and get the number of Tru2Way cards you need, You then go out and buy whatever DVRs or TVs you want that had Thu2Way slots. You would then connect the card to the wall outlet and then to the DVR you bought. The card would have all the security stuff a box does, but in a much smaller format.

It confounds me that the cable industry does not want to get rid of the logistical hassle of set top boxes and switch to a CableCard or Tru2Way only system. Letting the customer deal with the DVR would seem to be an easier business model.


Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to alexintexas

Re: Nasty

In what world would a DVR cost $1200 in a healthy retail market? You're talking about a QAM tuner, processors, and hard drive. Not exactly state of the art technology. It would quickly become a commodity item.


Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to davidhoffman

Re: suck

said by davidhoffman:

It confounds me that the cable industry does not want to get rid of the logistical hassle of set top boxes and switch to a CableCard or Tru2Way only system. Letting the customer deal with the DVR would seem to be an easier business model.

There's too much profit in the current system. These DTAs are going to bring in 500 million a year just by themselves.

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to Wolf

Re: Big deal

The infrastructure was already in place when Comcast built out their digital cable plant years earlier. The purpose of the digital migration was to reclaim the bandwidth used by the analog channels and use the much more efficient digital channels in their place. They needed this extra bandwidth for increasing HSI speeds and expanding VOD options. Their other option was to upgrade every plant with additional bandwidth capacity. It's estimated that buying the DTA's saved Comcast 90% over what upgrading the plant would have cost them


Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to PeteC2

Does your apartment complex have a contract with Comcast for service? That could explain the difference.

These DTAs were discussed frequently when the digital migrations were taking place and never was it brought up in discussions that the first two boxes would be charged for after 2 years. I don't have my letter any more from years ago but y definitely would have brought it up at the time if it had mentioned a charge 2 years out.


BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
reply to Zoder

Re: Nasty

The incentive to own your own MCE PC is pretty big when you can scale it out to 6 simultaneous users and 12 tuners for the price of two additional cable cards. That's way cheaper than crappy Comcast boxes, and most people would only need 4 or 8 tuners.

Also, these things are useless in the first place, as TV without a DVR... what's the point?

As for extra sets... just use MCE for the whole house, and throw a used XBOX with any extra TVs.

Also, there is no big scam to stop people from using CableCards... very, very few people do. They are pretty nice about them, and helpful when getting a self-install CableCard, at least IMO. And, they support ONDemand on TiVos on Moto systems, because then they make a crapton of money off of rentals. They would support it on SA systems if they could figure out how to accept IP input to the VOD system.

They did get rid of the remote control fee... that one was especially egregious, as you couldn't return the remote and not pay the fee, even if you had your own universal remote control.

DVRs don't cost $1200. That's absurd. Even a TiVo with Lifetime, which is a far more capable machine than an RNG200M or DCX3400M, which are Comcast's top Cisco and Moto boxes, respectively, costs less than $1k with a Lifetime subscription.

The "outlet" fees are just disguised box fees, one way or another. It has nothing to do with physical outlets. Heck, with MCE7 you could be running 6 TVs off of one or two "outlets". But they do have the analog cable thing back under control from when people were hooking up a ton of TVs to one subscription and not getting any more revenue for Comcast.


davidhoffman
Premium
join:2009-11-19
Warner Robins, GA
kudos:2
reply to Zoder

Re: suck

The DTAs are relatively small form factor solid state devices with comparatively simple firmware. DVRs are hulking power hungry machines with multiple rotating mechanical disks and complex firmware. I can see why you would want to keep the small simple low logistical cost DTAs as a profit center, but if I were a cable CEO I would want to get rid of those DVRs and switch to CableCard and Tru2Way.


alexintexas

join:2003-01-11
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Zoder

Re: Nasty

actually it wouldnt think about it,,,,also best buy and others need to make $$$ so yes that would be the cost per device believe it or not its reality..cable co's buy DIRECT from a manufacturer and in HUGE BULK not one by one nor do they deal with retailers

you obviously have no clue on manufacturing and costs involved in it..it entails huge amounts of $$$$ in R&D before anything is even manufactured once they do get a baseline they pay another large amount of $$$$ to build and test it,,,and they find problems thus more R&D and modifications which cost more money

the PS3 is an example look what the system cost the first 5+ years Sony "lost" money on every single unit sold and gambled on the hopes that they could make it up in accessory sales. i might add the ps3 was not cheap. Sony is not the only ones look at the "iphone" $450 bucks starting. my HTC sensation cost me $525, once a manufacturer recovers its costs in initial R&D etc they might lower the price however......

now an STB manufacturer is not going to lose money on this venture and then retailers need their cut as well, so we would be lucky to see no more then 3 total manufacturers building them